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■ : 


First Word 


By Daniel P. Jordan 

\ ■> H I 

Thomas Jefferson, scientist 

Heroes of Health Care 


9?\ J 

By Melanie Menagh 


In the morass of the U.S. 



health care 


system, a few dedicated 

By Keith Ferrell 

people struggle 


to provide effective. 



By Linda Marsa 

care — and succeed. 



I^^^HI^^H ^^ 

Designing Dinosaurs: How 

By Eric Adams 

to Bring 


Jurassic Park to Life 

Electronic Universe 

By Don Lessem 

By Gregg Keizer 

The experts who helped 

In space with Buzz Aldrin 

bring the extinct 


stars of Steven Spielberg's 


'-i^Bfe, : . ■ 

new film to life 

By Steve Nad is 

■ ' ;S *v. ■;■:-■- " ml"*' "fe^. 

speculate about how to 

Can a drug end addiction? 

*'^ &*■£■ ; ■ ''i 

keep dinosaurs 

in a real Jurassic Park, 


■*$m • •■ N , S^^^m., -*"■ Jfl 


By Kathleen McAuliffe 

■ ^ —•«-.»; ■ j|&i£/' '-^HP' .'»■■■■ JPJ 

Fiction: England Underway 

Dinosaur DNA 



By Terry Bisson 

Making Magic 

By James Oberg 

By Peter Gorman 


The Matses Indians of 


Peru use a 

By Linda Marsa 

remarkable drug called 


C/ose Encounters of the Carnosaur Kind? 

sapofor hunting, 


Sleven Spielberg meets 

healing— and magic. 

By Jack Williamson 

Michael Crichton in this summer's release 


SF classics revisited 

of the cinematic Jurassic 



Park. (Illustration by Walter Stuart, 

By Thomas Bass 


©Wildlife Education, Ltd.; 


By Scot Morris 

additional art and photo credits, page 46) 



S3. 50 ;n U.S. AFO. yi'd Cariarfo ""sler/iore- 

all rights in pori'uns Ihorocr ro.~ne n lie 

' " i magazine. 

Canadian GST Registration #R 126607589 



Statesman, philosopher architect — and amateur scientist 

By Daniel P. Jordan 

Jordan, the 
executive 'direcior 

will lead the nalion- 

al landmark 

in Fourth of July 


H?> mv.'m, (B- 

eluding its 

thsiDf-seiiOiifi annual 

aften, when asked to de- 
scribe Thomas Jeffer- 
son, I find myself borrow- 
ing a line from John F. Kennedy. 
At a 1962 While House dinner, 
President Kennedy remarked 
that the Nobel Prize winners gath- 
ered there were "the most extraor- 
dinary collection of talent, of hu- 
man knowledge, that has ever 
been gathered together at the 
White House, with the possible ex- 
ception of when Thomas Jeffer- 
son dined alone," 

After all, what do you say to 
sum up the life of the author of 
the Declaration of Independence, 
third President of the United 
States, and founder of the Univer- 
sity of Virginia? Especially when 
that man took enormous pleasure 
in the knowledge and mastery of 
every aspect of life, from garden- 
ing, cooking, and architecture to 
music, art — and, yes, science. 

Mr. Jefferson as amateur sci- 
entist — that, in fact, is one of the 
roles that will be highlighted this 
year on the 250th anniversary of 
his birth in a landmark exhibition. 
"The Worlds of Thomas Jefferson 
at Monticello" in Charlottesville. 

W.S. citizens. 

Virginia, April 13-December 31. 

Jefferson was extremely well 
versed In scientific issues of the 
day, and scientists such as Priest- 
ley and von Humboldt consid- 
ered him an integral part of the 
scientific community on the 
strength of his correspondence. 
His Notes on the State of Virgin- 
ia, for example, written in re- 
sponse to inquiries by the 
French intellectual and diplomat 
Francois de Barbe-Marbois, incor- 
porated geology, geography, ar- 
chaeology, botany, and many oth- 
er fields of natural philosophy. 

An inveterate and thoughtful col- 
lector. Jefferson maintained a mu- 
seum in the entrance hall of Mon- 
ticello. His "museum of civiliza- 
tion, ".or "Indian Hall," was one of 
the most important private collec- 
tions of Native American artifacts 
and fossils and natural-history 
specimens in this country at the 
time and was the culmination of 
his lifelong fascination with Native 
Americans and the natural histo- 
ry of his home continent. On 
loan this year to Monticello as 
part of the exhibition will be cloth- 
ing, utensils, and weapons sent 
to Jefferson from the Lewis and 
Clark expedition, including a buf- 
falo robe from the Mandan tribe, 
which depicts a battle, and a 
tobacco pouch of otter skin from 
the Sauk-Fox. 

Our third president was also 
keenly interested in meteorology, 
checking the temperature at Mon- 
ticello every day, twice daily, 
from 1776 to 1826, with some 
breaks, in order to make conclu- 
sions about and describe the cli- 
matology of the area. Jefferson al- 
so attempted to start a corps of 
national weather observers, 
much like the National Weather 
Service today, to gather informa- 
tion about the American climate. 

Often considered the father of 
American paleontology, Jefferson 
made substantial contributions to 

this scientific field. Furthermore, 
as an archaeologist, he under- 
took a dig on a Native American 
burial mound in Albemarle Coun- 
ty in Virginia, ThS methods he 
used to excavate the mound util- 
ized the principle of stratigraphy — 
that layers of the earth at the 
same depth hold remains from 
the same period of time — 100 
years before stratification be- 
came an accepted theory. 
Though Jefferson did not publi- 
cize his work, his excavation tech- 
niques became instrumental in 
Darwin's research and are simi- 
lar to those used by contempo- 
rary archaeologists. 

By modern standards, Jeffer- 
son was not a theoretical scien- 
tist. In the long term, his contri- 
butions bn behalf of science are 
far more important than his con- 
tributions to science. He was com- 
mitted to the advancement of sci- 
ence in each of his public roles 
and constantly sought to promote 
the growth of scientific thinking 
both inside the scientific commu- 
nity and among laymen. 

Jefferson also established pub- 
lic policy to encourage the devel- 
opment and use of scientific knowl- 
edge in the conduct of affairs of 
state and nation. His support of 
the expedition by Lewis and 
Clark is another example of his sci- 
entific patronage. One might 
even conclude that science dom- 
inated Jefferson's mode of think- 
ing about public service. He epit- 
omized the ideals of the Enlight- 
enment, combining his curiosity 
about the natural world with a pro- 
found concern for the social ben- 
efits of knowledge. 

Jefferson made his greatest 
contributions to science as an in- 
formed patron and champion of 
scientific inquiry and study in 
America. While some may not con- 
sider Thomas Jefferson to have 
been a true scientist, he was tru- 
ly a man of science. DO 





■ Pair; 
Je-i VVinst 

Hal Hal'p 


■■.",■ . , .... 


Your honor, may I approach the flight deck; dreams 

deferred; and notes on numbers 

Ruminating Responses 
Never has an article grabbed me like 
ihe one on John Allen Pauios by Janet 
Stites ["Running the Numbers," April 
1993], As a math phobic {made worse 
by pedagogical giris-don't-need-rnath- 
way stereotyping), I have always regret- 
ted the lack of this vital language. Sad- 
ly, it's like missing a sense, like that of 
sight or hearing, so that part of the 
world is closed to one. I have Pauios' 
first book, and I appreciate his mes- 
I ask that he please reiterate it 
with attention to the front-line troops — 
math teachers everywhere. 

Beverley-Ann Slade 
Toronto, Ontario, Canada 

I would like to express my joy in read- 
ing about John Allen Pauios. So far, I've 
loved everything I've read by him, and 
I like to think there's hope for Enumer- 
ates everywhere. I am a father to a nine- 
year-old girl who occasionally asks for 
help with her homework. Last year, she 
needed an easier way to do subtrac- 
tion, so I showed her that it was really 
addition in disguise. Her teacher Sold 
her she shouldn't do it that way. When 
she had trouble borrowing in larger prob- 
lems. I told her how she could use neg- 
ative numbers to help— more illustration, 
more understanding. Just the other day, 
she wondered what it would be like to 
suck soda through a mile-long straw. 
Well, I estimated how much soda 
would weigh and thus explained why 
she would need a metal straw. She 
suddenly realized why water tanks are 
on tops of hills. I believe the key to mak- 
ing math palatable is to invoke the prop- 
er mental pictures. By the way, I'm no 
whiz at math myself, but I did estimate 
the number of jellybeans in a jar at a 
church function so closely that many 
people thought I had cheated, 

Michael Reveile 
Marin County, CA 

I work in fast food. As a child, I wanted 
to be an engineer; however, I was nev- 
er a good math student. I wonder how 
many children have the early aspiration 

to grow up to be a scientist or engineer 
but fail in math and science and lose 
hope of the dream, 

Michael Williams 
Marmet, WV 

Deep Space Decor 

Your February /March [1993] issue con- 
cerning Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 
was fascinating, especially the deduc- 
tions on Cardassian technology and soci- 
ety. Some further conclusions on the 
Cardassian home world could be: It is 
a dark planet, presumably orbiting a 
dim star as shown by their preference 
for dark colors and low lighting, and its 
gravity is less than Earth's, evidenced 
by their tall, thin bodies. 

Olin E. Phillips 
Chesapeake, VA 

All Rise ... - 

As a third-year law student, I was inter- 
ested in your space law article featured 
in the April [1993] issue. I completed a 
space-law survey course at Akron Uni- 
versity Law School, which was a par- 
ticularly interesting experience. The 
course demonstrated to me that world 
peace depends on the exploration and 
development of outer-space resources, 
because the ever-increasing competi- 
tion for the earth's existing finite wealth 
can only lead to conflict. Space explo- 
ration is certainly an area that will need 
outstanding legal talent and offers an 
opportunity for the legal profession to 
serve the public interest. My hat is off 
to Omni tor recognizing the importance 
of this contribution. 

Mark Hayes, DPM 
Fairview Park, OHDQ 

Got something to say but no time to 
write? Call 1-900-407-4494, ext. 
70103. Your comments will be re- 
corded and may appear in an upcom- 
ing issue of Omni! The cost for the 
call is 95 cents per minute. You 
must be 18 or older. Touch-tone 
phones only. Sponsored by Pure 
Entertainment, P.O. Box 166, Holly- 
wood, California 90078. 



New books and a new film remind us that SF is alive and well 

By Keith Ferrell 

: is shaping up as a 
big summer for science 
fiction, with perhaps the 
largest of the season's events be- 
ing the release of Steven 
Spielberg's film of Michael Crich- 
ton's Jurassic Park. To that end, 
we asked Don Lessem, author of 
Dinosaurs Rediscovered, just out 
in paperback from Simon & 
Schuster/Touchstone, to take a 
look at the science behind the 
film, Few people are better con- 
nected to the dinosaur world 
than Don, and he put his network 
to good use. Check out "Design- 
ing Dinosaurs" for some insight in- 
to the year's biggest and most 
spectacular science-fiction film. 

But it's been a good year for 
science fiction in its textual incar- 
nation as well, with three novels 
over the last few months stand- 
ing out in particular. All are by es- 
tablished masters of the form, 
and each shows off special as- 
pects of their talent. 

In The Gripping Hand (Pocket 


came la life <n 

!Sie movie of 

Jurassic Parte 

M science-fiction 

writers tee 

tang been bringing 

creatures to lite 
will special 
efifiGK ( , 

ofiljj el jBist 

on paper — plus the 

magic >.:', 

Books}, Larry Niven and Jerry 
Pournelle revisit the scenes, cul- 
tures, and beings of their largest 
success, The Mote in God's Eye. 
Once more, the human race fac- 
es the threat of the Moties, a spe- 
cies of alien unlike any other in sci 
ence fiction. This is very much sci 
ence fiction in the classic mode; 
interstellar empires, scientific puz- 
zles and mysteries, the clash 
cultures. Another lovely entertain- 
ment from the field's leading col- 
laboralive team. 

Arthur C. Clarke graces the 
bookstores with the latest of 
what I think of as his "novels writ- 
ten after the latest retirement." 
This one is called The Hammer of 
God (Bantam) and is an expan- 
sion of a story that appeared last 
year. The story confronts the pos- 
sibility that our world may face col- 
lision with another body. All the 
customary Clarke grace notes 
are here: clear and almost docu- 
mentary prose, wit, effortless- 
seeming extrapolation, intelligent 
characters, and an underlying 
sense of the poignancy of our all- 
too-human situation. A nice vol- 
ume from one of the true masters. 

And finally, there is Forward the 
Foundation (Doubleday), the final 
volume in Isaac Asimov's great- 
est series, and one of the most per- 
sonal novels the great Doctor ev- 
er wrote. Completed against the 
gathering shadows of Isaac's fi- 
nal illness, Forward the Founda- 
tion distills Asimov's wisdom, his 
concerns for our species, his 
love of ideas, all of it in an elegi- 
ac volume that looks both forward 
and back. A year and some after 
his death, Isaac Asimov offers us 
a final, and memorable, gift. 

So if the lines for Jurassic 
Parkor the other films of summer 
grow too long, stop by your local 
bookstore and try some science 
fiction in its mosf ideal format: the 
printed word. 

Once you've caught up with 

the current crop of SF novels, you 
might wish to look back at some 
of the field's classics. You won't 
find a better guide than Jack Wil- 
liamson, himself one of the gen- 
re's classic writers. In this 
month's Books column, Jack 
casts his experienced eye back 
at some of the field's most mem- 
orable novels — and at the publish- 
ing programs that are restoring 
them to print. 

Science fiction at its best ex- 
plores' the universe and our 
place in it — which, of course, is 
what Omni does every month, in 
fact as well as in fiction. In addi- 
tion to our look at Jurassic Park, 
we cast our net this month over 
a fascinating and disparate 
group of subjects, 

Peter Gorman visits the border- 
land between magic and medi- 
cine and finds it among the 
Matses Indians deep in the Am- 
azon jungle, This is as unusual a 
piece of science reporting as you 
are likely to see this year. 

The heaith-care crisis preoccu- 
pies much of the government and 
much of the media. Being Omni, 
we wanted to take a different 
look at the subject and found 
that look via Melanie Menagh, 
who tackles five of the most cru- 
cial health-care issues for us and 
finds five solutions — and the ded- 
icated people behind them, 

Our interview this month takes 
lis to Berkeley, where radicalism 
remains a rallying cry. Meet Mary- 
Claire King, a brilliant scientist, 
who understands that laborato- 
ries, to be effective, must be 
viewed as very much a part of a 
quite real and troubled world. 

All this, plus Terry Bisson's won- 
derful fiction, "England Under- 
way," as well as Continuum, Anti- 
matter, and our columns — a live- 
ly, enlighiening mix. There may 
be summer doldrums out there 
somewhere— but you won't find, 
them in the pages of Omni. DO 

Cashing in on the next great boom 

By Linda Marsa 

feSHV'S MS iist: 

Mm cars, 

'■wcnit computers. 

VriK V>M>;!i<!!;;h- 

eflwie fas! foarfs, 

m/siijfii ssrai- 

CBRClUGiOr Gili{!5. 

!oo(!s, gfttsn in*s- 
tries, iMii!i!iue 


T" he dream is always the 
same: Tinkering on the 
computer, you devise a 
foolproof system for spotting high- 
flying stocks before they take off. 
Almost overnight, your portfolio 
doubles. Triples. Quadruples. Sud- 
denly, you're besieged by Wall 
Street heavy hitters desperate to 
learn your secret. Then you 
wake up. 

But this scenario can happen. 
Harry S. Dent, Jr., a Harvard-ed- 
ucated management consultant, 
believes the economy's boom- 
bust cycles are sparked by pre- 
dictable consumer-spending pat- 
terns that drive the economic en- 
gines, By using new— and easy- 
to-grasp — forecasting methods to 
track these trends, he says the av- 
erage investor can anticipate ap- 
proximately when the economy 
will rebound and identify tomor- 
row's top stock performers today. 
Dent's theories, which he out- 
lines in his book The Great 
Boom Ahead (Hyperion, 1993), 
are based upon what he calls 
"age-wave demographics," 
which give us a snapshot of the 
future. "Economic boom periods 
occur as new generations of con- 
sumers progress up a predict- 
able curve of earning and spend- 
ing until they peak in spending be- 
tween ages 45 and 49," says 
Dent. "The more people attain the 
peak of their spending in a given 
year, the better, generally, the 
economy will do." 

So when leading-edge baby 
boomers — the largest generation 
in our nation's history at 80 mil- 
lion strong — begin to hit these 
magic milestones around late 
1 994, Dent thinks their purchas- 
ing power will spawn an unprece- 
dented period of prosperity 
that will endure well into the 
next century. Which sectors of 
the economy will profit from the 
coming boom — and which com- 
panies are poised to surf on this 

generational spending wave — 
will be "pretty much determined 
by the tastes of the boomers. 

Now that they're marching lock- 
siep into middle age, distinct 
trends emerge. They want high- 
quality, value-added products 
and services, customization to in- 
dividual needs, fast response 
and quick delivery, and person- 
alized service— all of which may 
be environmentally sound. 

Winners in the 1990s will cash 
in on boomers' predilection for pre- 
mium quality at value discount 
prices, like affordable designer 
clothes, cutting-edge electronic 
gadgetry that makes life simpler, 
or nutritious fast foods that are 
quick but won't kill your colon. On 
the uptick are outfits that cater to 
the new Zeitgeist, like Nord- 
strom's, Ben & Jerry's, Apple Com- 
puters, and Gap clothing stores. 

Yet obvious picks like Micro- 
soft, which has jumped 1 ,420 per- 
cent; Wal-Mart, which has risen 
468 percent; and Intel, up 723 

percent — all since 1987 — are 
already Wall Street favorites. So 

how can working stiffs compete 
with the pros — who have every 
imaginable investment-analysis 
device at their fingertips — to 
spot rising stars before the pric- 
es of their stocks streak into the 

No problem, says Dent. "The 
key here is to understand the dy- 
namics of innovation, of how new 
products enter the market and 
when it's profitable to invest in 
them," he says. Virtually all prod- 
ucts go through a four-stage life 
cycle, or what Dent calls an S- 
curve. Sophisticated trendset- 
ters — about 1 percent of the mar- 
ket — adopt costly new technolo- 
gies first. As the product catches 
on, prices tumble, generating 
sales among upper-income infiuen- 
tials, a product's natural niche mar- 
ket. When the 10-percent point of 
a market penetration is reached, 
the new technology will be bought 
by upper-middle-class consum- 
ers — the third stage — and sales 
will explode. Once the product be- 
comes a true mass-market item, 
the technology has matured. 

Often it's not the highest-qual- 
ity products that become top sell- 
ers. What earns points today is us- 
er friendliness, convenience, or 
even a superior sales campaign — 
witness how VHS clobbered Be- 
ta or how Lexus beat out previ- 
ous quality standard BMW. 

For those who can't monitor 
the market every waking minute, 
the best way to sift through all 
these factors to ferret out the 
hottest prospects is by invest- 
ing in arenas we understand 
personally' — whether they're con- 
nected to our jobs, our hobbies, 
or the concerns we patronize. 
"You'll instinctively know which 
companies are sound," says 
Dent. "Then find one whose prod- 
ucts are on the brink of the ten- 
percent breakout point. "DO 

1 IJ 1L»JmiSImwLmJ1 U Mm 


A broad collection ranges from curiosities to-groundbreaking research 

By Eric Adams 

SDing to 

extremes: from a 


exhibit en AIDS 


Ib itsir and ham 

samples trom 

a tafl 

president irigltil. 

This is your heart," says 
Yvette D. LeGrande, 
handing over a red, 
blue, and gray lump of dried 
flesh that she has just pulled 
from an ordinary cardboard box. 
A researcher in the conserva- 
tion lab of the National Museum 
of Health and Medicine (NMHM) in 
Washington, DC, LeGrande is im- 
plementing a revolutionary new tis- 
sue-preservation process called 
plastination, which extracts water 
from an organ and replaces it 
with silicon. Reaching into the 
box again, she retrieves plasti- 
nated eyeballs, a liver, a pair of 
kidneys — and a brain. 

Work like LeGrande's has be- 
gun to move the institution to the 
forefront of museum technology 

and administration, and it also sup- 
plies an accurate metaphor for 
the museum's philosophy: present- 
ing the human body as it really is. 
Currently available by request, 
these plastinated organs will even- 
tually go into an exhibit. Then 
you, too, can see and feel what 
"your" heart really is like. 

The museum, nestled snugly in 
a corner of The Walter Reed Ar- 
my Medical Center campus, ex- 
ists partly to inspire young peo- 
ple to enter the medical profes- 
sion, says director Marc S, Mi- 
cozzi, but it also bridges the gap 
between the medical community 
and the public. 

"I want to bring the information 
we learn in scientific investigation 
into a framework that people can 
use to help understand their own 

health," Micozzi explains. 

When he took over the muse- 
um's administration in 1986, Mi- 
cozzi initiated an internal renais- 
sance that has produced a wave 
of fascinating new exhibits, includ- 
ing a presentation on AIDS and 
a powerful documentary film on 
drug abuse. It has also produced 
a noticeable change in image. 

With its unusual — and some- 
times downright weird— collection 
that features a mummified baby 
with two heads, and hair and 
bone samples from Abraham Lin- 
coln, it's apparent how the muse- 
um developed a bit of an uncon- 
ventional reputation. It clearly is 
not a boring place. 

But though administrators 
tend to shudder at the mention of 
public perception of their muse- 
um as a curio shop, it is indeed 
pure curiosity that often lures peo- 
ple in. Once inside, though, visi- 
tors may find themselves enjoya- 
biy educated about medicine 
and the technology thai sur- 
rounds it, A comprehensive look 
at early human development 
greets visitors as they enter the 
museum. In one large glass 
case, a row of fetal, infant, and 
child skeletons stands eerily at at- 
tention. And next to the case sits 
a somber yet compelling collec- 
tion of malformed human fetuses 
floating in jars of formaldehyde. 
Matter-of-fact explanations like 
"conjoined twins" and "cyclopia" 
accompany these dismaying 
sights in a manner consistent 
with the museum's objective ob- 
servation of nature's fallibility. 

It is research like LeGrande's, 
however, that pulls the museum — 
established in 1862 to help fight 
illness in Civil War battlefields— 
firmly into the twentieth century 
and points it toward the twenty- 
first, Such work has secured the 
museum its not-at-all-dubious sta- 
tus among medical- research insti- 
tutions: Its contributions to medi- 

cal knowledge include then-cura- 
tor Walter Reed's work on yellow 
fever and Frederick Russell's de- 
velopment of a typhoid vaccine. 

In fact, many of its exhibits orig- 
inate from museum research. The 
plastination process is one. And 
also likely to reach the exhibit 
floor once completed is the pro- 
posed study of Lincoln's DNA sam- 
ples to determine if he had the de- 
bilitating Marfan . syndrome. 
(Speaking of assassinated presi- 
dents, Micozzi has expressed a 
strong interest in having the mu- 
seum house and present the au- 
topsy material of John F. Ken- 
nedy when it's made available.) 
These, of course, will not replace 
the museum's attention-getting 
staples: the shiver-inducing early 
dental equipment and the live 
leeches from the medieval blood- 
letting exhibit, for example. 

Recovering from an involuntary 
relocation from the National Mall 
in 1968 that sent attendance fig- 
ures plummeting and most of the 
collection into storage, the muse- 
um has set its sights on muscling 
back on the Mail by 1998. To do 
so, its administrators have enlist- 
ed the help of Congress and for- 
mer surgeon general C. Everett 
Koop, who chairs the NMHM Foun- 
dation and narrates the muse- 
um's drug-abuse film, 

"What I envision for the future 
is an interactive museum where 
children can come in and go in- 
to three or four areas and learn 
about AIDS and cancer and nutri- 
tion," Koop says. "This is the 
wave of the future. You don't just 
come in and look; you come in 
and learn." 

But even though the museum 
is broadening its mission and mov- 
ing — which means that many of 
the more unusual exhibits will be 
removed — you needn't worry. 
You still have several years to 
catch the live leeches and the 
two-headed baby. DO 



One small step for man, a giant leap for game players 

By Gregg Keizer 

Hawing (h; 

Buzz Ulsfnn's 
Race Mo Some 

aitos yau 

\v. WW. she 

i'.Ki'i (toys 

§ g"lh ifi hat with Clinton's 
| | cuts getting ready to 
%Jf mm slash and burn NA- 
SA's budget, maybe we'll never 
make it to back into space big 
time. Space Station Freedom? For- 
get it. Man on Mars? No way. 

But you can relive — even re- 
write—the glory days of space- 
flight on your home PC. Inter- 
play's Buzz Aldrin's Race into 
Space, a simulation of the Cold 
War contest between the U.S. 
and the U.S.S.R., is an engross- 
ing experience for anyone who 
has sat glued to the TV watching 
rockets lift off from Kennedy 
Space Center. If you have more 
than a passing interest in space 
exploration, you must play Buzz. 

Loaded with graphics and but- 
tons to click, Buzz uses a mouse- 
intensive interface that's easy 
enough for kids to operate. It 
even throws in plenty of window 
dressing: digitized speech, nifty 
sound effects like rocket engines 
burning, and herky-jerky historical 
film footage. 

Like a lot of other historical sim- 
ulations, Buzz is really a model of 
resource management. You've on- 
ly got so much money to spend 
on hardware and programs, and 
because this is a race, time is a 
valuable commodity. Dawdle, 
and the Soviets (or the Ameri- 
cans, for you can play either 
side) will surely dash ahead. 

The goal, of course, is to be 
first. First to put a satellite into or- 
bit, first to send a man around the 
world. First to land a man on the 
moon and bring him back alive 
wins the game. 

You can start the race even 
with the Soviets or use an histori- 
cal model that accounts for each 
nation's advantages and costs. 
American hardware, for instance, 
is generally more expensive and 
more reliable. You also get to 
pick between a true-to-life astro- 
naut roster or a customized list of 

your own making. If you never 
liked Glenn, here's your chance 
to dump him from the program. 

The space-race business is rel- 
atively straightforward in Buzz, 
though it quickly gets complicat- 
ed; there's simply a lot to do. You 
must build pieces of hardware — 
unmanned probes, rockets, 
manned spacecraft, and miscel- 
laneous parts like docking mod- 
ules and EVA suits. You've also 
got R&D costs, for you can't sim- 
ply build a booster and let it fly. 
You've got to assign engineering 
teams- to each piece of hardware 
to improve its safety level. 

You may feel like you've got 
more work than von Braun had Na- 
zi friends. You've got to recruit as- 
tronauts, train them in the fine art 
of space walking or capsule com- 
mand, and build boosters and ad- 

vanced support facilities. You've 
got to keep an eye on the Rus- 
sians, schedule missions, assem- 
ble launch-vehicle combinations, 
and decide how you're going to 
get to the moon. 

Simulations being what they 
are, you can explore space along 
an it-really-happened line or 
take a different flight path to the 
moon. You don't have to build an 
LEM to get down to the lunar sur- 
face, for Instance; instead, you 
can build the Jupiter, a four-man 
ship that lands right on the 
moon, then lifts off for home all on 
its own. Science fact meets sci- 
ence fiction. 

And sadly, you can cut cor- 
ners. The result is usually disas- 
trous, with men dying in space or 
even left stranded on the moon. 
Buzz plays it straight here, too, al- 
though a bit on the macabre 
side — it lets you visit Arlington 
Cemetery or the Kremlin Wall to 
view your fallen astronauts. 

When your failures get too de- 
pressing to bear, take a break, 
slouch on the couch, and pop 
Star Fox into your Super Ninten- 
do videogame machine. Nothing 
historical here, just lots of satis- 
fying fireballs where enemy space- 
ships once flew. 

Star Fox is the first SNES 
game to take advantage of Nin- 
tendo's Super FX graphics chip, 
and it shows — objects are made 
of the same layered polygons 
that you see in high-powered 
flight simulators on the PC. The re- 
sult is a stunning 3-D videogame 
of frantic combat and even more 
frenetic flying. 

No matter which route you 
take — the historical drama of ex- 
ploding boosters or the fiction of 
exploding opponents — games 
are the only way to relive old leg- 
ends and build new ones. 

Not even the president can 

take away these 

glories. DO 



Can an African psychedelic cure addiction?. 

By Steve Nadis 

Looking (or 
3 new way to gel 

iiigii, timmil 

Utsof may have 

iounij a way 

far several 
addictive drugs. An 

iised In Afrleaj! 

rituals may 

ease withdrawal 



in !te iiraiiVs 

reward centers. 

M jff% jffi ild claims have been 
| X made about ibo- 
%m %m gaine, an hallucinogen- 
ic substance derived from a 
shrub, Tabernanthe iboga, 
found in the Congo and Gabon. 
In West Africa, where it's reput- 
ed to permit ritual communication 
with dead ancestors, it has been 
called the strongest single force 
against the spread of Christiani- 
ty and Islam. Most sweeping of all 
is the claim that one or two dos- 
es of ibogaine can break a per- 
son's addiction to 
heroin, morphine, 
cocaine, and am- 
phetamine, as 
well as other addic- 
tive substances. 

Howard Lotsof, 
president of the 
Staten Island- 
based NDA Inter- 
national, is respon- 
sible for this pro- 
nouncement as 
well as for bring- 
ing the subsumes 
to the attention of 
Western medi- 
cine. Lotsof, a for- 
mer heroin ad- 
dict, took ibogaine in 1962, look- 
ing for a new way to get high. 
After his 36-hour trip, he no long- 
er craved heroin. Nor did he ex- 
perience any withdrawal symp- 
toms. He then shared the drug 
with six other addicts, five of 
whom lost their desire for heroin. 

Lotsof secured patents on the 
use of ibogaine for treating drug 
and alcohol addiction, Although 
about 40 addicts have been treat- 
ed in the Netherlands since 19.90, 
ibogaine has not been approved 
for use in this country. Neverthe- 
less, Lotsof managed to per- 
suade several researchers to in- 
vestigate its potential. 

Among those is Stanley Glick, 
chairman of the Pharmacology 
and Toxicology Department at Al- 

bany Medical College, whom Lot- 
sof met in 1988. "I thought he 
was a crackpot," Glick admits, 
"but decided it was worth a few 
rats to look into his claims." 
Glick found that after an 
ibogaine injection, rats with free 
access to morphine reduced 
their narcotic intake. In other stud- 
ies, ibogaine alleviated withdraw- 
al symptoms of rats hooked on 
morphine. Glick saw that pretreat- 
ment with ibogaine curbed the 
rise in dopamine concentrations 
seen in rats given 
the opiate. 

The neurotrans- 
mitter dopamine 
is thought to play 
a central role in 
addiction. Many 
abused substanc- 
es trigger dopa- 
mine's release at 

the brain, includ- 
ing the nucleus 
accumbens, the 
so-calied "reward 
center." It is here, 
scientists think, 
where dopamine 
elicits the euphor- 
ic feeling that drives people and 
animals to excess. Enhanced lev- 
els of dopamine were not seen, 
however, in the nucleus accum- 
bens of lab rats given an 
ibogaine cocktail before their mor- 
phine fix. Mysteriously, ibogaine's 
effects seems to vary from rat to 
rat, sometimes lasting a few 
days, sometimes weeks. The du- 
ration of effects, too, was surpris- 
ing. Ibogaine may change to a 
form that stays in the system long- 
er, Glick speculated, although no 
metabolite has been discovered. 
Possibly, ibogaine produces 
long-term neural changes that 
are observable with a PET scan 
or other measurement. "It may 
be modifying neurons, changing 
the way a transmitter is stored, re- 

leased, or taken back into cells," 
says Henry Sershon, a neuro- 
scientist at the Nathan S. Kline 
Institute for Psychiatric Research 
at Orangeburg, New York. 

Patricia Broderick of CUNY 
Medical School has pioneered a 
technique called in-vivo electro- 
chemistry, relying on implanted 
miniature sensors that can meas- 
ure the release of key chemicals 
in rodent brains, Broderick 
found that ibogaine blunts effects 
of cocaine by suppressing' dopa- 
mine release. Another transmitter 
is involved; Ibogaine initiates the 
release of serotonin, which in the 
presence of cocaine appears to 
inhibit dopamine cells, This 
drug, she says : "may help us fath- 
om interactions between the two 
neurotransmitter systems." 

Armed with research papers, 
Lotsof convinced the National In- 
stitute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to 
start an ibogaine research effort 
in 1991. The agency will decide 
this year about human testing. 
Meanwhile, scientists at the Uni- 
versity of Miami have applied to 
the FDA for permission to begin 
clinical trials. "Ibogaine's toxicity 
has never been tested," cautions 
Frank Vocci of NIDA. The drug's 
psychedelic properties, too, are 
a concern. Glick and a chemist 
are attempting to synthesize an 
analog that doesn't produce hal- 
lucinations. The big question, 
Glick says, is "whether you can 
separate side effects from poten- 
:al :herapeu:ic oenefits." 

It may take years to figure out 
ibogaine's basic chemistry. If and 
when the drug is approved, Voc- 
ci adds, we'll have just a vague 
understanding of how it works. 
Nor can addiction be wiped out 
with a single capsule. Other fac- 
tors affect drug abuse. Even Lot- 
sof admits his earliest claims 
went too far. The problem, he 
says, is "most people who use 
drugs don't want. to stop." DQ 

Exploration has always opened avenues of" 
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Leadership in technology has been the hall- 
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The scientist behind Jurassic Park moves closer to isolating dinosaur DNA 

By Kathleen McAuliffe 

In Jurassic Park, Michael Crich- 
ton's best-selling novel and the 
new motion picture, scientists 
bring to liie a menagerie of dino- 
saurs. They clone the behemoths 
by retrieving dinosaur DNA from 
fossilized insects that fed on the 
dinosaurs' blood'. 

Farfetched? The concept of se- 
quencing portions of dinosaur 
DNA could soon become a reali- 
ty, according to George 0. 
Poinar, a paleontologist at the Uni- 
versity of California at Berkeley 
whose research inspired Crich- 



George 0. 

Poinar (too) 

hopes lo extract 

iiinosaa? ','jM 

tram ancient 

insects that, like 

this midge 

(above), have 

'm-r w'm'tw&- 

in amber. 

ton's plot. "We've got a project un- 
derway to extract dinosaur DNA 
from insects preserved in amber 
samples," he reports. Cloning the 
long-extinct giants, however, isn't 
possible yel. Still, he doesn't rule- 
out the possibility that the tech- 
nology for cloning could become 
available sometime in the future. 
His colleagues have, for the 
time being, reserved judgment on 
Poinar's venture. In their view, sim- 
ply recovering dinosaur genes 
would be an extraordinary coup. 
"The DNA molecule normally de- 
teriorates rapidly after the animal 
dies," points out Michael Braun, 
a molecular biologist at the Smith- 
sonian Institution's National Muse- 
um of Natural History. "The con- 
ditions of burial and preservation 

would have to be jusi right to sal 
vage genetic material that old." 

Until recently, the oldes 
known DNA came from 18-million- 
year-old magnolia leaves pre- 
served in an Idaho bog. Research- 
ers have teased other still-intac- 
genes from animal bones protect- 
ed from degradation in arid de- 
sert caves or tar pits. But new re- 
search suggests that amber may 
beat all comers in prolonging 
DNA's viability. Poinar and other 
California researchers stunned 
the scientific community last Sep- 
tember by announcing that they 
had extracted DNA from an ex- 
tinct 30-millioh-year-old bee em- 
bedded in amber. Almost, simul- 
taneously, a team of researchers 
led by Rob De Salle of the Amer- 
ican Museum of Natural History in 
New York City reported recover- 
ing genetic material from anoth- 
er insect encased in amber — 
this time an extinct termite of 
roughly the same age. 

Amber is essentially fossilized 
plant sap. A few rare pieces con- 
tain flying insects, spiders, centi- 
pedes, frogs, the feathers of 
birds — the remains of virtually any 
small creature that stepped in the 
wrong place thousands or mil- 
lions of years ago, thus becom- 
ing entombed in the soft, gooey 
resin. As the sap hardened with 
age, the glossy encasement pro- 
tected the specimen from weath- 
ering and biological agents of de- 
cay. Small wonder the Egyptians 
harnessed the resin to embalm 
their mummies. 

Despite amber's remarkable 
preservative qualities, the feasibil- 
ity of recovering genes from as 
far back as the dinosaur era, 
which ended 65 million years 
ago, has yet to be demonstrated, 
But Poinar may just be able to 
pull it off, He recently detected ti- 
ny soft-bodied creatures in 230- 
million-year-old amber pieces, 
and he hopes to retrieve genetic 

material from these organisms, 
which include a pollen grain fro- 
zen at the moment of germination 
and a protozoan immortalized in 
the process of ingesting a filamen- 
tous bacterium. "We're not talk- 
ing about an imprint in stone," he 
stresses. "This is the entire organ- 
ism that is preserved to the point 
that we can actually make out cel- 
lular structures in exquisite detail, 
including the nuclei where the 
genes reside." 

To tip the odds in favor of get- 
ting dinosaur DNA, Poinar will 
sort through his ancient speci- 
mens, picking out amber insects 
of the blood-sucking variety that 
lived at the tail end of the age of 
reptiles some 70 million years 
ago. He plans to crack the am- 
ber right through the middle so 
that the specimens fall out. He'll 
then scrape out the insects' body 
contents and search for blood 
cells. If he lucks out and the 
pest's last meal happened to be 
a dinosaur, he'll try to isolate 
from the blood a foreign genetic 
sequence with the great reptiles' 
telltale signature. "We'll compare 
the genes to those of dinosaurs' 
closest living relatives — birds and 
crocodiles — to see if the mix is a 
good match," Poinar explains. 

If his technique works— a big 
"if" — ihe paleontologist might 
snare the blueprints for such no- 
tables as the mighty Tyrannosaur- 
usrexand the triple-horned Tricer- 
atops — dinosaurs that lived at the 
same time as the insects 
trapped in his amber samples. 
The information encoded in the 
molecules should speak volumes 
about the mysterious rise and 
fall of the dinosaurs, 

Poinar's groundbreaking re- 
search may also answer ques- 
tions about the future as well as 
the past, among them whether 
the sequel to Jurassic ParkwWl 
unfold on the silver screen or in 
a scientist's laboratory. DO 


But not just any rocks — moon rocks, the ultimate collector's item 

By James Oberg 

Htey may not 

be much 

18 look at, but 

moon rocks 

couBd be among 

the world's 

most valuable 


The British Museum, the 
"attic of empire," con- 
tains an amazingly di- 
verse assortment of treasure and 
junk. In the past, some collec- 
tors — from Lord Elgin on down — 
often weren't any too scrupulous 
about how they obtained "their" 
treasures. A number of nations 
have tried for years to get items 
returned, without success. 

With the scope and scruples of 
the institution in mind, a hopeful 
negotiator recently approached 
museum officials with a literally 
out-of-this-world offer. What 
would the museum pay, the man 
asked, for a moon rock? 

The six Apollo manned expe- 
ditions returned to Earth with 
about 850 pounds of lunar rock 
and dust. Over the years, much 

has been loaned out for scientif- 
ic study, public exhibition, and oth- 
er official purposes. Because all 
the material was obtained during 
missions financed by the U.S. gov- 
ernment, it's illegal for anyone 
else to possess any of it. 

And yet an underground mar- 
ket in lunar material has persist- 
ed over the years. In the case of 
the British Museum, the incident 
involved a gift plaque holding a 
sliver of Apollo rock presented by 
the United States to President Zui- 
fikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan. Dur- 
ing a military coup in 1972, mem- 

bers of Bhutto's family reported- 
ly escaped from the presidential 
palace with the plaque. The Brit- 
ish Museum official told the lunar 
salesman that the moon rock had 
"no commercial value at all" be- 
cause the museum already had 
another moon rock loaned gratis 
by NASA. 

A similar lunar gift plaque was 
stolen in Nicaragua in 1979 
when Anastasio Somoza was over- 
thrown. Years later, several U.S. 
meteorite dealers were ap- 
proached by self-styled agents 
for the current, unidentified pos- 
sessors of the plaque. With fed- 
eral law in mind, none of the U.S. 
dealers followed up on the offer. 

Many observers have as- 
sumed that there are 12 specific 
men who could well have their 
own moon rocks as personal sou- 
venirs: the Apollo moon walkers. 
That widespread assumption has 
already spread some trouble. Peo- 
ple magazine reported a few 
years ago that the engagement 
ring worn by Buzz Aldrin's new 
wife sported a chip of moon rock 
next to the diamond. Federal 
agents took the report so serious- 
ly that they visited the Aldrins to 
inspect the ring. The magazine re- 
port, it turned out, was bogus. No 
other solid evidence — indeed, no 
other real rumor — has indicated 
that any of the men broke the fed- 
eral statutes. 

Apollo samples did disappear, 
to be sure. One sample shipped 
to a geologist in the Middle East 
vanished within a stolen mailbag 
at a New York airport and proba- 
bly wound up in a landfill after the 
thieves removed the bonds they 
were after. 

One other authentic private 
source of genuine moon dust 
seems to exist; dirty spacesuits. 
Upon the Apollo astronauts' re- 
turn from each mission, NASA 
shipped the spacesuits to their 
manufacturer for inspection. Ac- 

cording to unpublished accounts, 
workers sometimes ran loops of 
scotch tape across them, picking 
up small amounts of moon dust. 

One of those moon-dust tapes, 
purportedly made off of an Apol- 
lo 14 lunar spacesuit, showed up 
in a for-sale newspaper ad early 
in 1992. A man named Steve 
Goodman had found the tape 
among the papers of his late fa- 
ther, whose company manufac- 
tured spacesuits. After consulta- 
tion with Goodman and his law- 
yer, NASA decided it wasn't 
worth the effort — or the bad pub- 
licity — to confiscate the contra- 
band moon-dust sample. 

The moon-dust-auction at- 
tempt never went far enough to 
establish the market value of re- 
al moon rock. But one dealer, 
Robert Haag of Tucson, Arizona, 
owns his own moon rock legally, 
and he estimates the gem value 
of the stone at $20,000 per car- 
at. Impacts by space-going ob- 
jects occasionally blast fragments 
of rock from the moon, and 
some pieces fall to Earth as- me- 
teorites. The one purchased by 
Haag fell in Australia. 

Only one or two fragments of 
that size fall to Earth every year, 
usually into oceans or jungles. Any- 
thing on land weathers away to 
dust in a few centuries, during 
which it looks like any other ordi- 
nary rock. The odds against find- 
ing one are cosmic. 

Elsewhere in the world, there ex- 
ists an as-yet- untapped source of 
lunar material for legal sale. The 
Russians retrieved a few hundred 
grams of dust and pebbles on 
three robotic missions in the ear- 
ly 1970s, and the samples reside 
at the Vernadskiy Institute in 
Moscow. Under the current hard 
economic times, the institute is 
going bankrupt. The chance to 
earn dollars for its lunar samples 
could accurately be called a heav- 
en-sent opportunity. DO 



Warning the future of our lasting nuclear legacy 

By Linda Marsa 

Picture this: The year is 
9993. You're careening 
at warp speed, ab- 
sentmindedly piloting your pod 
on a quick errand from New York 
to Los Angeles. Five minutes 
from touchdown, the pod goes 
down, shipwrecking you in the 
vast desert that covers much of 
the southwest corner of what 
used to be the United States. 

Looking around, the land- 
scape is fearsome and desolate. 
Sticking out of the sands is a tor- 

ment of Energy-funded study to 
determine effective methods of 
marking the site of the Waste Iso- 
lation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near 
Carlsbad, New Mexico. There, 
the government plans to bury 
850,000 barrels of plutonium and 
other contaminated wastes from 
America's nuclear-weapons pro- 
grams, which will remain radioac- 
tive for possibly 10,000 years. 
The DOE will seal the drums in 
salt 2,000 feet underground. 
Initial safety studies for the nu- 

nicate across the vast chasm of 
culture and time, Both teams re- 
jected materials like gold, marble, 
or titanium. Although they're du- 
rable and won't corrode, future cul- 
tures might steal these treasures 
like those looted at the Pyramids. 
High-tech solutions— computer- 
ized messages and electrified 
sensing devices — were also dis- 
carded. "Modern technology is 
fragile," says Givens. "Low tech, 
like granite monoliths, will last." 
After three months, each 

hepe sjmfcots 

will ctese liii- 

lutisre gsnera- 

tiflss asay 

frsm the tferesls 

pesssi by 
Hall to mm 

fxtlson, isiiJ drill- 
ing wtere 
our potemSalljF 

r&H&activs wastes 

est of gigantic granite spikes, 
frightening totems of a long-lost 
culture thousands of years old. 
Horrific faces, partially eroded by 
time, are carved on the side of 
the spikes with a series of 
strange hieroglyphics cleanly 
etched underneath. Obviously, 
the ancient peoples who erected 
these menacing monoliths were 
sending a signal— a warning per- 
haps. But what, you wonder, 
were they trying to tell us? 

Ensuring that such a message 
is decipherable to societies in the 
very deep future was the task a 
group of experts tackled last 
year. Gathering at Sandia Nation- 
al Laboratories in Albuquerque, 
New Mexico, they devised warn- 
ing systems to alert future gener- 
ations to the presence of nuclear- 
waste burial grounds to prevent 
unwitting intruders from penetrat- 
ing the site and releasing deadly 
radioactive materials. 

This unusual project is part of 
an ongoing $200,000 Depart- 

clear-waste disposal site identi- 
fied three ways the repository 
could be disturbed: natural 
events like an earthquake, normal 
processes like water flow that 
would erode the canisters, and hu- 
man interference. Nuclear engi- 
neers and geologists were confi- 
dent they could locate a site 
where the chances of geological 
dislocation were minimal and fab- 
ricate weather- resistant structures 
that would endure. 

What they couldn't guarantee 
was that "a bunch of kids 3,000 
years hence won't rip open 
these vaults with their ray guns," 
says David Givens, a project par- 
ticipant and director of informa- 
tion services at the American An- 
thropological Association in Wash- 
ington, DC. So, In Novembei 
1991 , two interdisciplinary teams — 
composed of anthropologists, as- 
tronomers, an architect, an artist, 
materials scientists, a mathemat- 
ical psychologist, and a linguist — 
brainstormed on how to comrnu- 

team, working independently, 
emerged with surprisingly similar 
schemes based upon a range of 
future scenarios: if humankind is 
blasted back to the Stone Age by 
a cataclysmic event, if there is a 
partial retreat to a less-advanced 
society, or if technology is vastly 
superior to ours. The teams 
agreed that there must be redun- 
dancy in the messages, in the 
complexity ot the messages, and 
in the number and types of mark- 
ers in case vital components are 
damaged or removed. Both 
groups suggested constructing 
rock chambers engraved with pic- 
tographs and detailed warning 
information written in muitiple 
languages — a sort of Rosetta 
Stone for linguists of the future. 
The vaults won't be sealed for 
several decades, so these pro- 
posals will form the basis for fur- 
ther study. "We plan to meet 
back here in fifty years and have 
a beer," Givens says. "I'll only be 
ninety-eight then. . . ."DO 

"This is the new standard in muttimedia entertainment. " 
Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft? 

. disc ho. 1 " c t - 

f One Gigabyte of groundbreaking full frame 
animation for the CD-ROM and complex 
graphic processing techniques including 
rendering and morphs! 

't Musical soundtrack by The Fat Man of Wing 
Commander™ fame as well as extensive use 
of digitized dialogue recorded by live actors. 

^ Based on an original story and screenplay 
written by horror author Matthew Costello. 

'I wo years of graphical 3D renderings have resulted in 
a record setting 90 minutes of full motion ghostly video. 

Auailable Spring 1993! 




Two publishers keep the classics'of science -fiction in print 

By Jack Williamson 

| e lovers of science fio- 
, are we forgetting 
' our roots?- Sometimes 
I wonder. Many modern readers 
are too young to know science fic- 
tion's history, or even to know 
that it has a history. And history 
does matter. 

Though H. G. Wells, Jules 
Verne, and Edgar Allan Poe 
came earlier, American science 
fiction — as something separate, 
with a name of its own— was 
born in the pulp magazines of the 
1920s. It grew up in isolation, ig- 
nored or scorned by everybody 
else. Now, at last, in spite of the 
dismissive "sci-fi" label, it is gain- 
ing some respectability as a sig- 
nificant slice of our culture. 

Or so we like to think, the teach- 
ers and students in the Science 
Fiction Research Association. 
Teaching science-fiction class- 
es, we've always had a problem 
more immediate than the aca- 
demic skeptics. It's hard to get 
key texts into the hands of our 
students. Even the classics by 
such greats as Asimov, Clarke, 
and Heinlein are too often out 
of print. 

It's nobody's fault. With new ti- 
tles flooding the market, shelf 
lives are short. Publishers tend to 
pay top money for potential best 
sellers and let midlist and back- 
list titles fall through the cracks. 

But two enterprising publishers 
have come to our rescue. Collier 
Books and Carroll & Graf are re- 
printing the classics. 

Editor James- Frenkel says he 
plans to make his Collier Nucle- 
us program "the. source, of our 
great lost science fiction and fan- 
tasy heritage . . . with authors as 
hard-science as Jack Williamson, 
as altered-reality as Philip K. 
Dick, as lyrical as Edgar Pang- 
born, as humanistic as Clifford D. 
Simak, as pithy and pointed as 
Fritz Leiber, as feminist as Kate 
Wilhelm, as psychologically ma- 

nipulative as A. E. van Vogt, as 
epic as Brian W. Aldiss, as social- 
ly relevant as Wilson Tucker's The 
Year of the Quiet Sun." 

I was delighted to see the love- 
ly Collier trade paperback of A. 
Merritt's great fantasy, The Face 
in the Abyss. It was Merritt's mag- 
ic that first enticed me into the gen- 
re. I opened the new edition with 
some unease, afraid the magic 
had died, and found the Snake 
Mother still bewitching. 

Collier has also brought back 
two great Simak novels. The daz- 
zling paradoxes of Time and 
Again opened a new era of sci- 
ence fiction. Way Station is a sim- 
pler and more endearing story — 
the station is an old Wisconsin 
farmhouse used as a galactic tran- 
sit point. The humane warmth of 
the book comes from Simak's fond- 
ness for his native countryside 
and his love for all his characters, 
alien or human. He's too good to 
be forgotten. 

Kent Carroll says David 
Pringle's Science Fiction: The- 100 
Best Books guides his selections 
for Carroll & Grafs Masters of Sci- 
ence Fiction and Masters of Fan- 
tasy series. Running all the way 
from Brian Aldiss through Murray 
Leinster to Ian Watson, their back- 
list includes (among other won- 
ders) five volumes of Philip K. 
Dick's uneasy probings into his 
own fractured reality. There's Mi- 
chael Moorcock's startling Be- 
hold the Man. There's a whole 
spectrum of splendors ranging 
from Ramsey Campbell back to 
Bram Stoker, The pulp melodra- 
ma of Edgar Rice Burroughs' A 
Princess of Mars may have little 
in common with the "new wave" 
sophistication of J. G. Ballard's 
Vermilion Sands, but both are land- 
marks of science-fiction history. 

Carroll & Graf's The Mammoth 
Books of Science Fiction are hand- 
some paperbacks that collect 
such great short novels as Fre- 

derik Pohl's "The Midas Plague" 
and Theodore Sturgeon's "Baby 
is Three," each volume featuring 
ten selections from each decade, 
the 1930s through (so far) the 
1970s. The 1960s volume is a 
book of great beginnings. In 
"Weyr Search," Anne McCaffrey 
is building Pern, her much-loved 
world of romance and dragons. 
Gordon R. Dickson's "Soldier, 
Ask Not" is an early classic in the 
Childe Cycle, his multivolume 
myth of future human evolution. 
With "The Suicide Express," Phil- 
ip Jose Farmer is pioneering his 
Fabulous Riverworld series. 

Science fiction was still "scien- 
tifiction" when I discovered it in 
Hugo Gernsback's pulp Amazing 
Stories, back in 1926. Renamed 
in 1929, it has grown enormous- 
ly In the decades since and 
spread around the world. And it 
has changed. I think it has lost 
the innocence of its youth, the 
awe of startling discovery that cap- 
tured me. Travel to the stars, trav- 
el In time, alien life; They were 
true wonders then, adventures I 
had never even imagined, made 
magically real. 

Most of us were optimists 
then, intoxicated with our visions 
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or cognitive estrangement or spec- 
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ten. Collier Nucleus and Carroll & 
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coruTiatLJurifi ; 


Tribal remedies that work' — for everyone. Plus, how sheep can help you garden, 

and Butch and Sundance — the final chapter 

In the early 1800s. the Makushi Indians of Guyana led Brit- 
ish explorers through dense jungle to the plant from which 
they extracted curare for their arrowheads. The Europeans 
came away with a musc'e relaxant that still generates mil- 
lions of dollars in sales, in return for sharing their secret, the 
Makushis and other Amazonian Indians never saw a cent, 

A few visionary pha'maceuxal companiea are once ayyin 
looking to the rain forest for drugs that could yield a wind- 
fall. But this time around, the customary practice of "ripping 
off the natives" is strictly verboten. These enlightened firms 
insist that cultures whose tribal lore leads to important dis- 
coveries be compensated with money, goods, or services. 

Why pay for what can be got- 
ten for free? To protect endan- 
gered people and plants and — 
always the bottom line in busi- 
ness — to ensure future profits. 

With a juggernaut of ranch- 
ers and farmers flattening 
115,000 acres of pristine rain 
forest a day and the indigenous 
Indians vanishing even faster 
than the trees, the new brand of 
conservation-minded business 
people believe their scheme 
will provide an economically 
viable means of preserving the 
world's richest ecosystem and 
the people such as the 
Makushi Indians who know how to manage it wisely. 

The company spearheading this new approach is Sha- 
man Pharmaceuticals, a small biotechnology upstart 
based in south San Francisco, California. Named for the trib- 
al elders who dispense herbal remedies, Shaman sends sci- 
entists into the rain forest to study the healing traditions of 
different cultures and to collect unendangered plants that 
have promising properties. Drugs derived from these sam- 
ples are then subjected to testing back in the laboratory. If 
any of the compounds are brought to market, a cadre of na- 
tive people are hired to gather the plant for commercial pro- 
duction. In addition to creating local jobs, the company chan- 
nels a portion of the profits from drug sales back into the 

years old, has already toted up enough successes to show 
that altruistic conservation ism doesn't have to be incompat- 
ible with big profits. Through contact with Indians of the Am- 
azon, the company learned of a weedlike tropical plant that 
produces a potent antiviral compound. According to 
Tronds in Health Business, an industry trade publication, the 
drug may have blockbuster potential. Called SP-303, the 
agent has proved highly effective in clinical tests against the 
flu and other respiratory infections— or what could amount 
to a billion-dollar market. And that's not all: Preliminary trials 
suggest SP-303 may also helo io suppress hemes — anoth- 
er market approaching 1 billion dollars. 

The company hopes to get 

FDA approval to sell SP-303 
this year and has another sev- 
eral hundred plants in its lab 
pipeline, including three more 
botanical agents that could be 
ready for commercial launching 
by the end of the decade. 

Beginner's luck? Not in the 
opinion of Robert Root-Bern- 
stein, a physiologist and histo- 
rian of science at Michigan 
State University. "Our high- 
tech medical establishment 
pooh-poohs primitive cures as 
superstitious nonsense," he 
says, "but treatments used over 
thousands of years usually are effective." Indeed, roughly 
74 percent of the 121 botanical compounds used in main- 
stream medicine were derived from the traditional treaiments 
of indigenous peoples. A study by Michael Balick, director 
of the Institute of Economic Botany of the New York Botani- 
cal Garden, further highlights the indispensable role of sha- 
mans as guides to the jungle pharmacopoeia. During a re- 
cent search foi i x it; si ii, il agents ' >■■ n i . lvs potential against 
AIDS, Balick found the "powerful" plants of a tribal healer to 
be four times more likely to show antiviral action in prelimi- 
nary test-tube trials than plants gathered by random-sam- 
pling methods. These k nds of resiJ'.s lead Balick to believe 
that many more drug companies will soon be scrutinizing tra- 
community through the Healing Forest Conservancy, its non- ditional remedies for clues to tomorrow's cures. "We're on 
profit arm that supports sustainable development of the the verge of an explosion of interesl in Ihis area," he predicts, 
rain forest and the recording of medical lore. Trend-setting companies like Shaman Pharmaceuticals 

In an era in which most major pharmaceutical companies have shown the way. Tribal lore can make an immense con- 

Rain forest remedies: payback 

are emphasizing syninetic-drug development, reliance -c 
natural products and the wisdom of witch doctors may 
seem a sure formula for disaster. But Shaman, now three 

xbuiion to medicine and nelp :o sustain sound management 
of the rain forest — but only if we value this heritage enough 
pay for ft.— KATHLEEN McAULIFFE 


In August 1992, six amateur 
astronomers received the 
chance of a lifetime, an 
opportunity to make observa- 
tions on the Hubble Space 
Telescope. All told, the 
amateurs will get about 18 
hours of telescope time in 
1993, less than 1 percent of 
the total observing time 
available. "Yet some import- 
ant discoveries have been 
made on the Hubble with just 
a single snapshot," says Ray 
Villard, a spokesman for the 
Space Telescope Science 
Institute in Baltimore. 

Five amateur astronomers 
received a similar opportuni- 
ty in 1989. Riccardo 
Giacconi, the Institute's 
former director, started this 
unique program out of 
gratitude to amateurs for the 
help they have given to 
professionals in the field. "It's 
like having a standing army 
out there," Villard says. "You 
really can't name another 
area of science where 
amateurs have made more 

important contributions, 
That's probably because the 
universe is accessible to 
anyone who looks up with a 
small telescope or even 
binoculars. If you're lucky, 
you might spot a comet or 
something else no one has 
seen before." 

The program opens the 
space telescope up to "more 
speculative kinds of observa- 
tions," Villard notes. "Ama- 
teurs tend to be more 
freewheeling, perhaps be- 
cause they don't have 
sciontTc reputations to worry 
about." Among the projects 
selected in 1992 were a plan 
to look for binary asteroids — 
entities which may or may not 
exist — and a proposal to 
determine whether a quasar 
and a galaxy might be linked 
together by a bridge of 
luminous matter. 

It's too late to submit an 
application for the 1994 
group of amateurs, but the 
deadline for the 1995 group 
is April 30, 1994. Contact 
Hubble's amateur astronomy 
working group: HST-AAWG, 
c/o AAVSO, 25 Birch Street, 
Cambridge, Massachusetts 
02138.— Steve Nadis 

A byproduct oisheep- 


A tip for gardeners: If you 
want to boost your yield of 
cabbages, asparagus, and 
spinach, try putting wool in 
your vegetable patch. 
Trials by the British- 
based International Wool 
Secretariat have shown 
impressive results by laying 
woolen blankets in gar- 
dens. The blankets—or 
mulch mats — provide 
warmth for growing crops, 
retain moisture, and break 
down easily in the soil, 
releasing beneficial nitro- 
gen, potassium, sulfur, and 

other trace elements 
Bf, essential for healthy 
ft growth. They also 
^^ help check the 
T^L spread of weeds. 
"© far, the 
ea re hers 
we used Kara- 
:ul wool, from 
South African 
heep, in 
Jneir experi- 
ments; it's 

that one — helps gardens grow. 

brown and cheaper than 

other varieties. The council 
in the' Yorkshire town of 

450 meters of the matting to 
help new trees flourish. 

The British scientists 
hope that wool will provide 
an environmentally friendly 
gardeners' alternative to 
peat, which comes from 
ecologically valuable bogs, 
and black polythene, a 
plastic that keeps down 
weeds, John Pitts, a 
technologist at the Center, 
.has laid blankets in his own 
back garden. "My cauliflow- 
ers," he reports, "have 
grown three times faster 
than normal. The wool takes 
so much of the hard work 
out of gardening that I've 
been left with little to do on 
my vegetable patch." 

The researchers have 
begun looking at putting 
wool-mulch matting in 
hanging flower baskets, 
where water retention is 
vital. They've also devel- 
oped a plant pot made 
entirely out of wool. 

— Ivor Smullen 


Long after quitting 
many addicts are still 
tormented by intense crav- 
ings. Help may soon arrive. 
For the first time, researchers 
at Yale University School 
of Medicine have shown that 
a pharmacological sub- 
stance can lower addicts' 
desire for cocaine in the 
laboratory— a development 
that could presage more 
effective treatments. The 
research team, headed by 
psychiatrist Sally Satel, 
used a drink deficient in a 
neurochemical building 
block to lower production 
of serotonin, a brain 
transmitter believed to 
enhance the feeling asso- 
ciated with cocaine. 

in the study, researchers 
gave 20 male cocaine 
addicts a placebo that did 

not alter serotonin levels, 
followed a week later by the 
experimental drink. After 
exposure to the placebo and 
to the treatment, the addicts 
viewed a film of people 
enjoying cocaine. The re- 
searchers then asked the 
subjects to rate their desire 
for the drug on a 100-point 
scale. On the day they drank 
the serotonin-lowering con- 
coction, the addicts reported 
feeling a significantly re- 
duced urge for cocaine. 

"The effect did not bowl 
the subjects over," Satel ■ 
cautions. "No one exclaimed, 
'Wow, that drink killed my 
craving!'" Still, she finds 
the preliminary results 
ercou 'aging. Further refine- 
ment of pharmacological 
approaches, she predicts, 
"might eventually be com- 
bined with counseling to 
reduce the relapse rate of 
recovering addicts." 

m — Kathleen McAuliffe 



Nsx". i me you get a cavity, 
blame your mother. Sensitive 
new DNA tests show that the 
leading bacteria responsible 
for tooth decay originates 
primarily in our mothers' 
mouths. The culprit, Strepto- 
coccus mutans, is passed in 
saliva from mother to child 
following the eruption of 
molar -oeih at about two 
years of age. Page Caufield 
of the University of Alabama 
School of Dentistry in 
Birmingham calls that stage 
"the window of infectivity," 
because children who are 
not infected at that time 
might have up to 95 percent 
fewer cavities. 

Caufield studied 46 chil- 
dren from birth to five years 
of age and found that 38 of 
'Tom became infected with 
S. mutans, all between 19 
and 31 months. DNA typing 
of the bacteria demonstrated 
that virtually all the infected 
children harbored the same 
germ that colonized their 
mothers' mouth. By the end 
of the study, a quarter of 

ciernesi?— an J cavities. 

these infected youngsters 
had developed cavities. By 
contrast, the eight uninfected 
children showed no signs of 
tooth decay. Caufield has 
uncovered further evidence 
of a window of infectivity from 
an adoption study now 
underway. His preliminary 
data indicate that children 
separated from their biologi- 


cal mothers at birth are 
protected from cavities up to 
at least 18 years of age. 

To Caufield, these findings 
suggest that it might be 
oeref'c al for the mothers of 
young children to get their 
teeth painied with chlorhex- 
idine, a varnish that helps 
eliminate S. mutans from the 
mouth. "If we could prevent 
all mothers from transmitting 
the germ to children during ■ 
the critical period," he says, 
"it might be possible to raise 
a cavity-free generation." 

—Kathleen McAuliffe 




Which of these two groups of 
produce do you prefer: 
Oranges, bananas, and 
grapes; or eggplant, corn, 
and tomatoes? 

If you chose the first 



group, you're a strong- 
minded, ambitious, aggres- 
sive, dominant person 
who's a natural leader. If you 
chose the second, you're 
introspective, self-searching, 
sensitive to others' needs, 
and not impulsive. 

Do you like pineapple 

chunks or pineapple glaze 
better? Applesauce or fresh 
apples? Creamed corn or 
corn on the cob? 

If you preferred at least 
two of the first selections — 
applesauce, pineapple 
chunks, or creamed corn — 
you're passive, easy-going, 
and agreeable, and you try to 
solve problems without 
raising a commotion. If you 
liked at least two of the 
alternates better, you're an 
aggressive go-getter who 
works hard, plays hard, and 
won't take no for an answer. 

The foods you prefer can 
reveal facets of your 
personality, according to 
Alan R. Hirsch, neurologic 
director of the Smell & Taste 
Treatment and Research 
Foundation in Chicago, 
Illinois. Hirsch conducted 
a study thai combined 
a battery of personality tests 
with "olfactory tests, 
gustatory tests, and hedonic 
scales" to determine 
which personality traits match 
certain foods. 

The results are "not abso- 
lute," Hirsch cautions, 
because "people are rarely 
all of one type or all of 
another — they're mixtures — 
but their food preferences 
are a good personality 

Scientists have known for 
years that certain scents 
alter alpha and beta brain 

waves. Now Hirsch's studies 
show that mixed floral 
scer.s also affect brain-wave 
patterns — even when the 
scent concentration is too 
low to be detected by the test 
subject. Such surprising 
results "suggest that odors 
can have a subliminal impact 
upon the brain itself," 
Hirsch says. — Peggy Noorian 

In olden days, sailors 
navigated the seas with the 
help of a. sextant, an . 
instrument that Calculated 
CM'cciior by measuring the 
ah.i-udc- of ii ;e sun Now two 
bioogists have discovered 
that a species of lizard 
senses direction in a similar 
way. using what amounts to 
an organic ssxiant in ^e 
top of ' its head. 
' Barbara El.lis-Quihn 
and Carol Simon of the C;:y 
University of New York 
trekked. to the Arizona.' . 
mountains to study 
Yarrow's spiny lizard {Sce- 
loporus jarravi). Knowing 
i i ■ ■ i i,:. .1 i '.:■■ has a third.,.- 
or "pariers:," eye on tne ;op 
of its head, -the researchers 
trapped 40 of the animate 
and then covered each 
lizard's, third eye with a 
layer of paint, They, then put 
the' lizards- in bags with ' 
.40/.of their counterparts, 
whose third- .eyes had ■ 
net oe.en painted, and let 
all the lizards-go at a. spot 
"50 meters from inei r 
hordes. Sure enough, [he 
un pair-tec fes-rc's began 
to find their way home" ■ 
within half an hour, while 


their painted cousins wan- 
dered around aimlessly. 

This part of the experi- 
ment confirmed -ha!: the 
third eye is indeed the key 
. to the lizards' sense of 
direction. To .'determine the 
pnncipls on which the third 
eye ooeraies, the .biologists 
put a group of lizards in a 
dark, room and turned on a 
light at midnight, which ■ 
artificially accelerated the 
: 'za'ds' biological clocks by 
s-x hours. When the animals 
were turned loose- away 
jram home, -hey moved 
pLrposarUy toward ho -e— 
except that they were 
actually 90 degrees off 
course. The conclusion? 
Like ancient mariners, 
"these- iizards," Simon says, 
"are using the sun to find 
their way around." 

— BUI La wren 

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A scientist inspects i'-uman sHir- ceiis growing in flasks. 


Burn victims and severely 
injured patients now have a 
much better chance of 
recovery thanks to advances 
in growing human skin for 
skin grafts. However, labora- 
tory-grown skin begins to 
degrade in just eight hours, 
making it difficult to treat 
patients who live too iar from 
the lab. But now Biosurface 
Technology of Cambridge, 
Massachusetts, has solved 
that problem. 

Biosurface produces its 
natural replacement skin by 
means of tissue culturing. 
New skin grows in flasks or 
dishes containing a nutrient 
solution that uses, as a base, 
cells from the person who 
needs the graft. The process 
takes 17 to 24 days. 

"Each cell makes its own 
colony, and when the 
colonies touch each other, 
they grow upward in layers," 
until the sheets of skin can be 
removed, says spokesman 

"moihy Surgenor. 

"Until now, we could cool 
or freeze individual cells to 
store them, but not a whole 
sheet," Surgenor says. The 
solution to the dilemma 
proved to be as simple as 
finding the optimum cool- 
storage temperature for the 
sheets of skin: 13 to 23 
degrees centigrade. The 
technique keeps the skin 
viable for up to 24 hours. 

— George Nobbe 

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P.O. Box 166, Hollywood, 
California 90078. 


Butch Cassidy and the. 
Sundance Kid — the names 
inescapably evoke images 
from the 1969 movie 
starring Paul Newman and 
Robert Bedford. In the 
movie, as in real life, the 
outlaws fled the United 
States and the Pinkerion 
detectives for Bolivia. At 
that point, reality and 
Hollywood may — or may 
not— diverge. 

The movie shows them 
surrounded by the Bolivian 
army after they steal a . 
mining company's payroll; 
the scene fades out in a 
hail of gunfire. But various 
legends have the pair 
dying elsewhere or even 
returning home to live out 
their lives in obscurity. 

Thanks to high-tech 
science and old-fashioned 
detective work, the. truth 
behind their demise may 
finally come out. 

Western historians Dan 
Buck and Anne Meadows 
have researched the Butch 
and Sundance story since 
the mid 1980s. In Bolivia, 
they "found the judicial and 
mining company records 
that actually substantiated 
for the first time that there 
had been a holdup and a 
shootout" in 1908 with two 
Yankees in San Vicente. 

When Buck and Mead- 
ows, along with a team 
including world-famous fo- 
rensic anthropologist Clyde 
Snow, exhumed the un- 
marked graves where local 
legends said the gringos 
were buried, they found 
skulls and intact skeletons 

from two European or Morth 
American males. 

One skeleton's leg shows 
an old injury consistent 
with a bullet wound Sun- 
dance suffered years 
before his reputed death, 
and the skull is caved 
in as if it had been shot 
between the eyes. Reports 
have stated that the 
two didn't want to be 
finished off by the soldiers, 
so Butch shot Sundance 
and then himself, The 
second skull shows, dam- 
age matching a self- 
inflicted gunshot wound. 

Buck thinks DNA match- 
ing might help determine if 

the bones belonged to. 
Butch and Sundance. Such 
an effort would likely require 
tracking down the outlaws' 
descendants to sample 
their DhJA. 

Neither Snow nor the 
other forensic experts 
studying the San Vicente 
remains will discuss what 
progress they've made. 
They've been sworn to 
secrecy until a future Nova 
■envision broadcast re- 
veals the results. 

—Peggy Noonan 


"People tiiink 
we're a welfare 
program instead of 
a heaUh-care 
program," says 
Dennis Mohatt, 
director of 
County's mental 
health center. 

Pediatric AIDS " 
Unit, Harlem 
Hospital: "Nobody 
on my ward 

: '■.-.' 

Health care for 

the homeless: 
During the 37,000 
visits clocked 

, James 


and the-40-member 

■.-'■.'■: >'; 
all— AIDS, frost- 
bite, substance 
abuse, cancer, TB, 
•:-ih-- iphrema, 
pram m onia, diabetes 

"This is iny 

= : national 
health care* 

. ■:. -' ' :■ ■ ,-': : 
Ansak, director 

of On Lok, 
"We must believe 
in taking care 
of all citizens the 

same way alt 
over the country.'' 

Lihston Young, 
Heavy Hitters: 
"We're here 
to tell you that you 
have a choice 
to use and abuse. 
If you decide 
to use — you'll go 
to jail or you'll 
wind up in a mental 
institution or 
you'll die." 

';''■■ t'snot a system; Iks a mess," ' 
Arnold S Peirnan. M.Q., editor in 
cnief •.■■.■■.■ ,', ;he New England 
Journai cf Medicine, cay;, cf 
health care in America. I! would be 
toucm So fine: a dissenting voice from 
Big Sur to Littie. Rock. Tine malaise . 
in our heaim-oare system is so com- 
plex, pervssive. ano well publicized 
■ that it hardly needs rehearsing ners. 
What Is not so well known is ;na* (hers 
;are : people and programs across the 
Un , ■■ :.■ .'iving some 

of the moss. ■■■; ■ .; ■■•■: . , [ 

pro! ■.!.:■ : in. nation/ 

. .Omni drew up a list or five critical 
isi .1 ■■:■■ ■..'..■ tanee abu: ■ ire for the 
elderly, mental health hIDS. and 
horneiessness. Then we set out to find 
peopie vvno were makiup Important 
, dvani ■ 3 I; c-a : ■'■ n ,-. . ,-yanted to 
find peppie on; m trie trenches, 
roll-up-you: ■■.■■.■■ .: : tackii in 
serious problems, dealing direc:-y with, 
troubled peopie. 

Lihston '<bung directs a substance-. '. 
abuse program in Milwaukee. Marie- 
Louise Ansak founded a facility for the. 

frai; elderly in Son Francisco. Dennis 
Mohan ovei mental health in rural 

I ■ / 1 1 ■ .i ■ i ■ : . : ■ ; i ., ■■, : ■ ■ oeve ; - 

ooec the pediatric AIDS unit at Harlem 
hospital. James O'Connell runs clinics- 
in homeless shelters in Boston. These 
five are a mixed bag. Some are 
professional mebica; peopie; some are" 
not. One graduated from. Harvard; 
another droi p' : m: cf h : gi ;choo All 
operate in what are euphemistically 
called underserved areas." . 
■ The population Dennis Mohatt cares;, 
for m Menominee County seems vastly- 

. ii eni iron ivla i. ; eagarty's 
patients in I 
territory s a : ■ l - ■ .■ i ■.'.■■! 1 1 ■ . ; .■, ■■ , . . .: ■■■ ■: . 

■A'ulie dibthct o; sparsely copulated 
farmland in the Midwest, rieagarty's ' 
bai : ;'wlck is a crowded, prime.'!!;/ 

i it he biggest: 

most oosmopo Han city in the country. 
Yet. when you dig Oeneath she 
suoerficial difference^ similarities 

' ■ ■ -I ■■ SI :'■ i . ■ ; 

apparent. Hahern ana Menom-nee 
County o-otri sutler from poor 
ecu-cation, a scarcity of good iocs. 

flight of 
abuse, i 

■■■■;■ ■ 

ss- vices. en iemic domosi; 
and sexual abuse- and a profound; .' 
;ack of nooe thai the future will be 
much better. ■ 

there is i ireat deal ■ 
among issues. Anyon ■ ■ aril .: or ti a 

iai o deal '■■■i 1 : 1 sub 
abuse. Many participants m subs;aoco- 
a.ouse programs are HiV nositive. 
Pediatric AIDS oc-ctors must also 
attend to the children's mental health. 

Mental Hinei may : ■.■■■;,.■. 
repercussions, like oar accicents : ■ 

'!',■■.. ,:'■ icn oe caused 
by. or the cause of. practical;-, eve'y 
ailment In -he bock. 

Cleany. the Iroub as facing A menu an 
health-Care providers are nor exclusive- 
ly medipal. In a crumbling inner-oify 
ienemsnt cr en a bankrupt dairy farm 
health issues can't be separated -from,. . 
socioeconomic issues. The finest 
heaUh-care program can only slap a 
Band-Aid; on the real problem. Unless 
the nation's socia- : ano econom ■ ■ 

* U.S. portion of global 
population: 5 percent 

* U.S. portion of global 
drug use: 50 percent 

* Annual casts for 


(loss of income ;? 

and social services).: 

'Americans who drink 

alcohol once a week or 
more: 21.2 percent 

■■ Heavy drinkers: 
5 percent 

* Hard-drug Users: 
5,881,000 (3 percent of 
the population) .'•', 

■' Arrests for drug 
violations by state 
and local police in 
;-;: *;6H,056 
1991: 1,010,000 

i Portion of federal 
prison sentences that 
were drug offenders in 

1980: 27 percent 
1989: 49 percent 

* Drug-related deaths 
reported in 27 metro 
areas in 1991. 6,601 

Annual drug-related 

. .:■ ■ . 

are a-.iorded ic. ;he prognosis for curing 
the health-care crisis is not good. The ben- 
efits, if we can, are manifest. If we don 1 
the cost — in cash dollars as well as in hi 
man suffering — will be enormous. 

"Hero," unfortunately, has lost some o1 
its cachet. It's the antihero, from Willie Lo> 
man to Dirty Harry, who's been the pop^ 
culture icon of twentieth-century America. 
In fact, all the men and women we've 
called heroes said they felt uncomforta- 
ble with the epithet, insisting that whatev- 
er successes they have achieved are due 
to the remarkable teamwork of their staff. 

Agreed, The purpose of this exercise 
isn't to declare that these and only these 
five are the heroes of our health-care sys- 
tem. We do insist, however, that there are 
torch bearers, crusaders, visionaries 
abroad in the land who are performing he- 
roic deeds in these difficult times— a fact 
often overlooked in the flurry of bad 
press about America's medical system, 
which makes it easy to grow skeptical 
that good is being done anywhere. 

This does great disservice to not only 
the people who are working so hard to 
right the wrongs, but especially to the peo- 
ple whose care could be vastly improved 
if some of these innovative programs 
were replicated around the country, In the 
following sections, we've collected some 
of the pertinent statistics on each prob- 
lem so you may see that despite the 
mess we've allowed our medical system 
to become, there are many inspired, inspir- 
ing people out there laboring diligently 
and successfully to solve our problems 
and ease our pain. 

Heavy Hitters 

Milwaukee is awash in billboards of mer- 
ry partyers hoisting frothy mugs. Not sur- 
prising for a town that revels in its history 
as brewer to the nation. The Grand Av- 
enue Mall does a brisk business in T- 
shirts that feature beer logos; brewery 
tours are a major attraction; the city's 
most venerable theater is named for a fa- 
mous family of brewmeisters. Not surpris- 
ing that in 1991 , Milwaukee County (pop- 
ulation 959,275) had an estimated 76,000 
drug and alcohol abusers. Fortunately, Mil- 
waukee also has Linston Young, 41, ex- 
ecutive director of the Heavy Hitters, an 
inner-city-based grass-roots organization 
of recovering alcoholics and addicts. 

The making of an addict starts early— 
"It's a family affair," Young says. "When 
people talk about their addiction, when 
they get to the nuts and bolts of their prob- 
lem, it's about the loss of family. It's the 

loss of the spirhjai being and the morals 
and values that you get in a family set- 
ting." Young's checkered past is typical 
of the Heavy Hitters membership. One of 
12 children raised singlehandedly by 
their mother, he was sneaking beer at age 
8; by age 14, he had a $450-a-day hero- 
in habit that he supported by "snatching 
1 purses, selling my body, anything I 
could do." He started a gang, was shot 
three times and left for dead, went to re- 
formatory school and tojail. 

A big bear of a man wrapped in a 
black satin warmup jacket emblazoned 
with a crowned lion, Young is hanging at 
the Friendship Club, a social club com- 
plete with darts, jukebox, checkers, video- 
games — and Orange Crush behind the 
bar, Poised at the controls of Checkpoint, 
Young feeds the machine another quar- 
ter and he's off, attacking video aliens 
with the assiduity he usually reserves for 
the formidable foes plaguing his commu- 
nity, "They tell me it's my therapy," grins 
Young, as another E.T nemesis bites the 
dust. "It's also another vehicle of communi- 
cating with the kids." 

Young says he learned a lot in prison, 
In fact, the Heavy Hitters credo is to 
"take the negative and turn it into a pos- 
itive." They deliberately dress in their lion- 
logo gear so they'll look like a gang, "We 
constantly wear our colors, and wherev- 
er we go, we go in droves. We give a coun- 
ter example — we're a gang, but we're pos- 
itive. Being in a gang is about belonging. 
If you don't have a family, hanging with 
the gang gives you an identity. People rec- 
ognize us around town in our Heavy Hit- 
ters clothes, and they want to belong," 

The original members met at recovery 
meetings, but many were drug and al- 
cohol abusers as well as had problems 
with codependence. overeating, and emo- 
tional issues. No single organization had 
ever tried to tackle all these at once, so 
in 1989, they began a program for them- 
selves. With a membership that's grown 
from 1 2 to 265, Heavy Hitters sponsors sup- 
port groups; marches, dances and rallies; 
a teen help line; and the Speakers Bu- 
reau, which gives talks at schools, church- 
es, and prisons, The Heavy Hitters' mes- 
sage about the consequences of using 
drugs is simple but powerful: "We're not 
here to tell you, 'Don't do this; don't do 
that.' We're here to tell you that you have 
a choice to use and abuse. We're here 
to tell you what will happen to you if you 
decide to use — you will go to jail or you 
will wind up in a mental institution or you 
will die — those are the options," Except 


U.S. population 65 or 
older: 12.5 percent 
65 or older; 31 million 
65-74: IS million 
75-84; 10 million 
over age 85: 3 million 

• Growth among the 
over-SOMge " 
group is increasing 
exponentially. .: 

Population overage 85 
in 1990: 1.2 percent 
Increase over I960: 
100 percent 

■ Increase over 1900: 
600 percent , 

care costs in 1987: 
ages 65-69: $3,728 
over age 85: $9,178 

» Cost of nursing-home 
care in 1991: 
$59.9 billion 

Number of beds .-- 
needed to add per day 
to meet demands 
by the year 2000: 100 

for Young who receives a modes! salary, 
it's an all-volunteer organization. 

What makes Heavy Hitters unique isn't 
what they do; it's how they do it. "We 
have cultural perspective; we approach 
the problems of addiction from the mi- 
nority experience," Young says. "People 
can't always grasp traditional recovery 
models. Some are illiterate; there can be 
language or grammar barriers." It's also 
when they do it. "If you go to an agency, 
they close the door at five o'clock. We're 
on duty whenever there's a need— a twen- 
ty-four/seven operation. We're mobile; 
we'll come to you." It's a serious— some- 
times dangerous— commitment. "If some- 
one calls me from a crack house and 
says, 'Hey, man; I'm tired. I'm ready. 
Come and get me, 1 I go get 'em," Young 
says. "I don't look at it as dangerous; 
when a person is actually screaming for 
help, there's supposed to be scmebocy 
there to help." 

A major ob|ect ve of Heavy -Hears s get- 
ting members off welfare and on to oro- 
ductive lives. "There are thousands of peo- 
ple in recovery who are doing well but are 
not being trained to do what they're ca- 
pable of," Young says. "We have 60 mem- 
bers who are ready to work as counse- 
lors, but we don't have any money to pay 
them," It's an uphill battle, Young con- 
cedes. "They tell you they want you off wel- 
fare, but they set up road blocks for any^ 
body who tries to get out of the system." 
Young is trying to make people know 
that they're somebody, "show them there 
are things they can do," he says. "We try 
to help every person who has a dream 
make that a reality." 

On Lok 

"This is my religion: national health care, 
totally nonprofit," says Marie-Louise An- 
sak, executive director of On Lok, a pro- 
gram for the frail elderly (people certified 
for nursing-home care) in San Francisco. 
"National health care is a basic right. Eve- 
rything else has to go." The insurance in- 
dustry? "Forget it. Kick them out. I don't 
want insurance; that's just another bureauc- 
racy that siphons off money." But what 
about Washington's infamous ineffic sney? 
"Running health'care through a central- 
ized system is not a recipe for disaster, 
because it means that affordable health 
care becomes the national philosophy. 
Wq must believe in taking care of all citi- 
zens the same way all over the country. 
I don't believe in all this states' rights 
stuff — this is bullshit." 
As Ansak makes her way through On 

Lok's recreation area, she works the 
room: beaming, shaking hands, request- 
ing news of errant grandchildren and un- 
cooperative ligaments. Spend a few min- 
utes soliciting her views, however, and the 
feistiness which enabled her to have her 
way with Washington is apparent. Ai 65, 
she speaks her mind, her arguments full 
"of fervor and compassion — with the oc- 
casional expletive thrown in for emphasis. 
"Three times we had our own private 
bills passed by Congress," she notes 
with satisfaction. 

The first piece of legisaiion permitted 
On Lok to finance care through a unique 
scheme combining Medicare (federal 
funds) and Medicaid (state funds), pay- 
ing on a monthly per-person fixed rate rath- 
er than the usual fee-for-service basis. 
When the On Lok scheme proved suc- 
cessful, the feds granted waivers to allow 
the continuation of Medicare/Medicaid pay- 
ments. Finally. VVasnirglon granted waiv- 
ers for other sites :c rep.icate the On Lok 
model. Currently, there are 12 locations 
in ten states following in On Lok's wake. 
"I was adamant about getting funding 
through Washington," Ansak says. "The 
frail elderly consume the megabucks, and 
programs like On Lok can't be funded out 
of little community systems; the federal 
government has the large pockets." 

Ansak is Swiss, the daughter of two doc- 
tors. She came to Chinatown as a social 
worker and in 1972 was asked to devel- 
op a program for the frailest residents. Be- 
cause of her shuttle diplomacy from Chi- 
natown to Capitol Hill, On Lok lives up to 
its name— "peaceful, happy home" — for 
the 350 people enrolled in its adult 
daycare program. Each morning. On Lok 
team members roll up in their van at par- 
ticipants' homes to help them get ready 
and then drive to the On Lok center fcr 
the day's activities— medical care, 
cards, crafts, perhaps a little physical 
therapy. Some participants volunteer as 
playground supervisors for local schoolchil- 
dren; others may prefer to sit quietly with 
a book. At the end of the day, the team 
returns participants home and assists 
with their nighttime needs. 

On Lok enables these elderly people 
to live in their own homes in their own com- 
munity — for 5 to 40 percent less than the 
cost of cornparab e ru's rig-home care. In 
1992, On Lok spent $32,400 to cover all 
of each person's medical needs— from 
occupational therapy to prescriptions to 
hospitalization. "The participants fiercely 
want to stay in their community," says An- 
sak, "It sustains them — it's where the r iani- 

• ] in 5 persons suffers 
a mental disorder 

■ . ■;■ :. ..■■■'■ ■ -.-. ■■■.■-■. 

• 1 in 3 suffers a 
disorder during his or 
her lifetime. 

•Annual mental- 
health-tare costs: 
$2733 billion 

ghost productivity: 
44 percent 

Treatment cost: j 

43 percent 

• Annual V.S. menial- 
health admissions: 

• Primary-care 
physicians provide up 
to 60 percent of mental- 
health services. 

• Population living 
Win nonmetro areas: 

22 5 percent 

•Physicians practicing 
%n nonmetro areas: 
J3.2 percent 

•Rural population living 
in designated 
psychiatric -shortage 
areas: 34 million 

• Psychiatrists per 
100,009 people: 

"Metro: 15.9 
nonmetro: 3.6 

files and friends and traditions are; they 
don't want to be institutionalized." In 
fact, On Ldk has been able to bring 
some people out of nursing homes, and 
now they're back in the community. 

On Lok's participants have fewer hos- 
pital visits (3.5 per year] than healthy 
adults (S.5 per year) of the same age. "We 
have a team approach," Ansak says. 
"Everyone from One doctors to the van driv- 
er is educated and involved, so we can 
monitor people all the time. That way we 
prevent the big breakdowns." 

Many of the thorniest problems beset- 
ting the older population, like substance 
abuse and suicide, are effectively triaged. 
"When people come to us," Ansak says, 
"often they are taking ten, fifteen differ- 
ent medications because they have 
three different doctors. At On Lok, doc- 
tors confer, and when they assess the 
participants' needs, very often pill taking 
is reduced to practically nothing." There 
hasn't been a suicide attempt in the last 
four years, "Our people feel less isolated 
because they stay close to their family 
and friends, ,: she says. "Our staff knows 
each patient well and so is a bit more alert 
when depression sets in, so we can in- 
tervene early." 

Since On Lok takes care of people to 
the end, participants are encouraged to 
create living wills. "When you're close to 
death, you don't want to go through a lot 
of pain and have the last two months of 
your life in utter discomfort or all 
drugged up," says Ansak, "Once our peo- 
ple understand their options, they usually 
don't want to die like that, We listen to 
what the patient wants. It's up to each in- 
dividual to decide what quality of life 
is acceptable." 

Menominee County Community Mental 
Health Center 

"I have a theory about those thousand 
points of light," Dennis Mohatt, director of 
the Menominee County Community Men- 
tal Health Center (MCCMHC) in Michi- 
gan's Upper Peninsula, comments on an 
infamous pdlitical leitmotif. "Those lights 
are all red. They're the taillights of peo- 
ple headed out of town." In the last dec- 
ade, rural Ameses has experienced a crip- 
pling exodus. "People who would coach 
Little League or volunteer at the local clin- 
ic leave because there are no skilled 
jobs," Mohatt says. "As communities de- 
teriorate, the people who were the natural 
helpers leave, and so at the same time, 
the proportion of children and adults who 
need help grows." 

Partial to hunting, and the Grate- 
ful Dead, long of limb and ample of grin, 
at 38, Mohatt has a bit of the corn-fed 
farm boy about him. In fact, he has expe- 
rienced the harsh combination of rural pov- 
erty and mental illness firsthand. Left fa- 
therless at an early age, he and his broth- 
ers were raised in Iowa by a mother who 
was dependent on welfare. Witnessing the 
mistreatment she received from the sys- 
tem convinced him to work in rural men- 
tal health. For Mohatt, it's in the blood. "My 
father was a volunteer fireman and died 
in the line of duty. I grew up believing 
that being a public servant was an hon- 
orable profession," 

The farm crisis hit Menominee County 
hard, with serious psychological repercus- 
sions: depression, psychosomatic illness, 
physical and sexual abuse, and an inci- 
dence of scnizopivenia we above the na- 
tional average. The local high school has 
seen eight suicides in the past two 
years. On the Potawatomi reservation, 
there is a 90-percent rate of alcoholism. 
At the dedication of Orchard View, a 
group home for six developmental^ dis- 
abled adults, Mohatt vies for air time with 
the buzz of lawn mowers, the thump of a 
basketball, and a stiff breeze blowing 
across the high bluff atop which the new 
ranch-style house sits. "We have come, 
finally, to see that people with develop- 
mental disabilities have the same rights 
as anyone: the right to live in their com- 
munity and not be shut up in institutions, 
the right to have a room of their own and 
next-door neighbors." 

In 1992, the last of Menominee Coun- 
ty's developmentally disabled citizens 
came home — back to their roots. Today, 
none is in an institution; they've all re- 
turned to small group homes like Orchard 
View. This is only one of the improvements 
Mohatt has made. Since he took over as 
director in 1989, he has doubled the an- 
nual budget to S4 million, increased s:af 
by over 500 percent, and decenralized 
services so that they are accessible 
throughout the county. Aside from their 
own facilities, MCCMHC staff have 
struck up partnerships, working in tandem 
with local physicians at their offices, In 
schools, at nursing homes, even with Na- 
tive American healers on the reservation, 
The program's success has made Menom- 
inee a model around the counrry and 
made Mohatt president of the National As- 
sociation for Rural Mental Health. 

It's all most gratifying, Mohatt, howev- 
er, is not one to rest on his laurels. 
"When life looks like easy street, there is 


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APT t 

< '.S. estimate of 
number of 
HIV-infected people; 
1 million >;.; 

• Reported US. AIDS 
cases; 242,146 

• U.S. AIDS cases as a 
portion of world's 
AIDS cases: more than 

• HIV-related deaths in 
1991: 29,850 
Increase over 1990: 
24 percent 

• HIV-related death 
rates per 
100,000 people: 
Wfutz men; . 
17.6 percent 
Black men: 

50.4 percent 
White women: 
1.5 percent 
Black women: 
12.2 percent 

» Yearly medical costs 
for a person 
with AIDS; $38,000 
Lifetime costs: SI 02,000 

• Children (13 years and 

younger) with reported 

AIDS: 4,051 

Due to hemophilia: 

5 percent 

Dae to blood or blood 

products: 7 percent 

Born of infected 

mother: 86 percent 

danger at your door," he quips. Despite 
the huge range of problems MCCMHC fac- 
es, there is a constant struggle for fund- 
ing, "Some people say we're taking care 
of whiners. They think we're a welfare pro- 
gram instead of a health-care program. 
The siigma of mental illness really is a 
hard thing to get around." • 

At town meetings, Mohatt has to com- 
pete with people who want more money 
for police and roads. "Our clients are not 
going to stand up and testify about how 
important our services are," he says. "But 
it's easy to see our failures — the people 
who fall through the cracks and cause 
problems. It's harder to see the people 
right next door who comply with their ther- 
apy and get along just fine. The more suc- 
cessful we are, the more invisible we are." 

How would Mohatt spend the extra mon- 
ey? On children. Teachers tell Mohatt 
that some of their kids are so troubled 
that to really do something about educa- 
tion, they would have to stop teaching for 
a couple of years and just deal with the 
emotional scars. Mohatt's pet project is to 
teach a high-school class in basic help- 
ing skills — problem solving, effective com- 
munication, resolving conflicts. "I'd take 
the cream of the crop and, if I had the mon- 
ey, I'd employ them as helpers working 
with fourth, fifth, and sixth graders," he 
says. "It's a critical age-— a fourth grader 
who's struggling needs to have somebody 
who's a mentor to set up a positive in- 
tragenerational relationship." 

Mohatt believes the government must 
pump some serious cash into health 
care but that Washington's priorities lie 
elsewhere'. "Groups like the insurance 
industry and defense contractors are 
viewed as the good guys by politicians," 
he says. "When we say, 'We need good 
health care in our community,' we're 
seen as the ones who want special favors. 
We speak for persons with developmen- 
tal disabilities or mental illness who can't 
speak for themselves. They don't vote. 
They don't have a lot of money. Yet the 
Washington politicians view them as a 
special-interest group." 

Pediatric AIDS Unit, Harlem Hospital 

"Nobody on my ward dies alone," says 
Margaret Heagarty, director of pediatrics 
at Harlem Hospital in New York City. "Ear- 
ly on in the AIDS epidemic, when we 
didn't know how the disease was trans- 
mitted, we were making the morning 
■ rounds. We came to a young boy on the 
ward, and I said to my staff, 'Who has 
hugged this child today?' They looked a 

little sheepish — guilt is a powerful motiva- 
tor, After that, there were hugs for all the 
children on- the ward." 

In her mid fifties, Heagarty has been in 
the line of helping children for a while. 
Graduating from the University of Penn- 
sylvania, she has practiced and taught at 
Harvard, New York Hospital/Cornell Med- 
ical Center, and Columbia, arriving at Har- 
lem Hospital 15 years ago. Despite the 
emotional rigors, she says that develop- 
ing the pediatric AIDS program has 
been the most interesting and challeng- 
ing work she's done. "We've been 
forced to confront an entirely new phenom- 
enon with virtually no resources," she 
says, "so we've had to use great ingenu- 
ity and creativity." 

Aside from hospital care, the program 
includes outpatient and psychological ser- 
vices, a hospice for infants in a convert- 
ed convent, and a research arm in con- 
junction with several medical schools and 
teaching hospitals in the area: The coor- 
dinators of the Harlem Hospital's program 
have found that the best approach is to 
assign the doctor treating the child with 
AIDS to treat the entire family with med- 
ical care and psychological counseling. 
In effect, he or she becomes the family 
doctor. There have also been cases in 
which doctors have become family. Heag- 
arty points to a photo of a boy on her book- 
shelf: "He was one of our patients whose 
family was 'absent,' When he died, we ar- 
ranged the funeral for him. Afterwards, we 
all came back here and spent time togeth- 
er; we went through a period of mourn- 
ing for the child." 

Taking care of children with AIDS pre- 
sents many special problems and chal- 
lenges. The disease is as devastating in 
the young as in adults. AIDS tends to be 
particularly aggressive in children, often 
causing neurological damage which re- 
suits in delayed development. Making mat- 
ters more complicated, many of these chil- 
dren come from families who are unable 
to care for them properly. It can be as sim- 
ple as missing a doctor's appointment or 
as dramatic as the fact ihat a seven-year 
old child, who's the adult in the house- 
hold—is very sick. 

Confirming her reputation as a tough 
taskmistress, Heagarty is frank about the 
demands she makes on her staff. "I don't 
allow burnout on my ward," she says. "I 
don't believe in it. We have to realize that 
we cannot cure these children, that the 
end result of this illness is death. We can- 
not look on the death of these children as 
a failure in ourselves or in our ability to prac- 

fktwiidsa popakiihm in ■ 

V.l I [.'Wf«y pruttlM 

forTB:2i pen 

• Similar, i 

population ivstiii} 
positive for TB: 
percent (most cases 
pf active TB were 
''i among homeless r, 
with AIDS) 

* Homeless families 
. using emergency. 

rooms or clinics for 
preventive care: : 
v 35 percent 

From a survey 

medical direct 

of homeless cl 
. portion reporting 

problems recruiting 

physicians: 52 percent 

Reasons given for 
: problems recruiting 


inadequate salaries: '.. 
. 7H percent 

doctors' biases against 

working with the 

homeless: 63 percent 

tice good medicine. We can help them to 
be happier and healthier longer." 

Wrapped in a cardigan withample pock- 
ets, in her office on the seventeenth floor- 
spectacular view over the rooftops of Har- 
lem to the skyscrapers of mid Manhattan — 
Heagarty strokes her brow. "It's different 
from treating the usual pediatric popula- 
tion because all of our patients die. We've 
been forced to go back to the way doc- 
tors and nurses approached treatment in 
the nineteenth century when so many chil- 
dren died. AIDS is a human problem, and 
we must 'treat' the humanity of these chil- 
dren and their families — not just their med- 
ical problems." 

Heagarty gives a mixed review to 
AIDS care in America. The scientific es- 
tablishment, she says, has made 
enormous strides in understanding this dis- 
ease in ten years — identifying the agent 
and designing drug therapies to improve 
and prolong life. On the other hand, how- 
ever, she says, "HIV disease in children 
is a problem of the poor. These children 
are being seen in large public hospitals 
which are chronically underfinanced. You 
have to have the resources for the basics, 
the infrastructure, and that's lacking in 
these settings — regularly." 

Losing an entire generation of people 
to this disease will take a tremendous toll 
on the nation, Heagarty warns. "Heads of 
American industry today will tell you that 
one of their primary worries is that there's 
a shrinking pool of educated, skilled work- 
ers in this country. We can't afford to 
lose any one, no matter what their color 
is." There is, however, another compelling 
argument: "This nation claims that we are 
all created equal; if we turn our backs on 
these children and their families, that 
makes us hypocrites. And for our lack of 
response to this epidemic and to urban 
poverty in general, I fear that history will 
judge us very harshly." 

Health Care for the Homeless Program 

It's check-in time at the Pine Street Inn, 
and the tiny nurses' clinic is bristling with 
sound and motion. In the midst of it all, 
however, is an area of arresting calm, re- 
served for Pine Street's signature treat- 
ment: the evening footbath. Each man 
sits with feet, often grimly swollen and ul- 
cerated, soaking in a little tub of warm wa- 
ter and green soap, steam curling com- 
fortably about his ankles. Pine Street Inn 
offers 2,000 meals and 1,100 beds each 
night to Boston's homeless population. 
The nurses' clinic is one of the oldest in 
the country and one of 46 sites in the city 

of Boston receiving direct services 
through the Boston Health Care for the 
Homeless Program (BHCHP). 

As James O'Connell, executive Direc- 
tor of BHCHP, greets some of the reg- 
ulars, his whole person lights up, exhil- 
arated. "I love it here," he says. "It's 
such a wonderful place to work. Here you 
are needed, appreciated — all the things 
you want for your staff." This is probably 
not the reaction you'd get from the aver- 
age citizen, but then much about 
BHCHP, its staff, and its director is quite 
extraordinary. O'Connell's resume is a 
case in point: bartending in Newport, teach- 
ing and coaching hoops in Honolulu, 
philosophy at Cambridge (England), Har- 
vard Medical School. 

During the 37,000 visits clocked in a 
year, the 40-member staff sees it all: 
AIDS, frostbite, substance abuse, cancer, 
TB, schizophrenia, pneumonia, diabetes. 
Statistics show that homeless people 
have four times as many hospital admis- 
sions as the average person, and O'Con- 
nell believes that's an underestimation. 
Doctors, nurses, and caseworkers oper- 
ate out of clinics in shelters, daycare cen- 
ters, and soup kitchens. Some staff visit 
families in SRO hotels; others work the 
night shift in the van, attending to street 
people who don't frequent shelters. 
BHCHP offers primary-care clinics at two 
Boston hospitals and has just opened a 
respite unit for patients who are not yet 
well enough to face life on the streets. 

Access is key to the operation. "We 
bring the health-care providers to the peo- 
ple who need care," O'Connell says. 
"We're dealing with people whose prima- 
ry concern is finding the next meal, a bed, 
some clothes — health care is way down 
on the list." Because the traditional halls 
of medicine do not accommodate the 
lives of an extremely sick, transient pop- 
ulation, many homeless people do not use 
the system. "They don't have time in the 
struggle for survival," says O'Connell, 
"and most find the system so bureaucrat- 
ic and capricious that they can't use it prop- 
erly — or don't like it." 

BHCHP's job was to find ways to lure 
the homeless back into Boston's medical 
system, "These people would never go to 
their primary-care doctors," O'Connell 
says, "but they would see us in the shel- 
ters for a few months, and I could give 
them my card and say, 'Why don't you 
come see me at the hospital at nine 
o'clock on Friday.' That way, they're com- 
ing to see me, not some anonymous hos- 
pital. We have to respect the rights of the 

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homeless, not dictate to or criticize 
them, but to let them go at their own 
pace. When they're treated with dignity, 
they do respond." 

The ability to attract gifted profession- 
als to BHCHP is essential. In many cas- 
es, however, the medical Community hi- 
erarchy makes this difficult. Money 
plays a part, but it's not the whole sto- 
ry. Equally important, says O'Connell, 
is the respect of your peers. "Students 
should be encouraged to work in 
health centers and free clinics — the 
front lines," he says, "not because it's 
good work for the poor'or the homeless 
but because it's good work for a doc- 
tor. This is a sick population that tradi- 
tional medicine has been unable to 
treat effectively, and medical school 
deans need to encourage the best and 
the brightest to work on it." 

At Pine Street, another shift comes in 
for their footbaths. The scene is 
charged with symbolism; bathing the 
feet of the poor has a kind of Biblical 
resonance. "In understanding who 
these people are and how difficult it is 
to survive at the margin, you learn an 
awful lot about your own life and your 
own society," O'Connell says. Principal 
lesson? O'Connell considers. "What has 
struck me is that the circumstances 
which conspired to make them home- 
less are frequently a very fragile turn of 
fate; they've encountered so many ob- 
stacles to just staying alive. Watching 
these people deal with that fate, strug- 
gling with their inborn disabilities or 
their chronic illnesses makes them he- 
roic in my eyes." DO 

Page I , lop: Jeff Fbtman; pagel, middle left: Mur- 
ray Close: aage 1. middie right: Cindy Ciwles; 
pace i. octtoir Civisxjher Springman; page 
2: Greg Vaughn; page 6; Thomas Szumowski; 
page 8: Penni Gladstone; page 12, top: Interplay 
Productions; page 12, bottom: Tony Wang; 
page 14: Peier Liepke; page 16, lop: G. Poinar; 
page 16, bottom: LLC. Berkeley; page 18: Jan 
Hinsch/Science Photo Library; page 2D: Jon 
Lrvrberp. page 27: Cesar Lucas/Tie Image 
Bank; page 2S, top: Peter HendriefThe Image 
Bank; page 28, bottom: Renee Lynn/Photo 
Researchers; page 29. top: Benn Mitchell/The 
Image Bank; page 29, bottom: Tim Teebken; 
oage 30. roe; I _c;i:.:.:y'iLiki/Animals Animals; 
page 30, bottom: Luis CasSane da/The Image 
Bank; page 32: Movie Still Archives; page 34, 
left: Greg Vaughn; page 34, middle: Peter 
Liepke; page 34, right: Pauia Lamer; page 35, 
left: Christopher Springman; page 35, right: 
Greg Vaughn; page. 33: Paula Lerner/Woodfin 
Camp; pages 38 and 40: Greg Vaughn; page 
42; Peter Lieprie page 44; ChrisiGLilier Spring- 
man; pages 50 and 52: M-vrav Giose/Uni versa 
City Sludios; pages 58-60: Neil Brennan; pag- 
es 64-65: Je~ Ro:man: page 66, top and bot- 

man LaVslle; page 67, top and middle right: 
Jeff Rotrnan; page 75: Chris Moore; page 76: 
C, .-■' F "i. ■■&;: page 77, top: King Collection/ 
Retna; page 77, bottom: E r ;k La-dsnerg 

lh& hstl$% 


It's my -First attempt 
■fco -Free the life 
held captive in stone 





No one can 
ever accuse you 
coddling prisoners 




The fantasy is so 
compelling that we 
(an imagine live 
dinosaurs in our world. 



A keen-eyed, man- 

Velociraptor leaps world of Jw 
out of the 

meal of poisonous 
berries. Hot-blooded 
baby dinosaurs says Jol 

i like wildfire in the "'" 

int adviser. Horner is 

through the forest. And in n 

lurking ominously in anyone alive, the 

the shadows is perhaps life model for Jur. 

the greatest killing p— i--- 

machine ■ 

nature or the special- tl 

effects industry — a 

Still, I did a frightened 
double take at Ihe 
sight of what looked like 

Never mind that 
^-creating Vetociraptor 

Df sculptors, hydraulics, 
and computers — a budg- 
et larger than all the 



dollars ever spent on dinosaur 
science — and Steven Spiel- 
berg's directorial savvy to make 
the rest of us suspend our 
disbeiief. And ignore the fact 
that Michael Crichton's fantasy 
of dinosaurs reconstituted 
from fragments of their DNA 
locked in amber is just that — a 
fantastic feat 'of genetic 
engineering so far beyond 
present technology and scientif- 
ic ethics that neither genetic 
researchers nor Crichton 
Will contemplate its near-term 
prospects seriously. 

Instead, think about living with 
dinosaurs, with Velociraptors or 
Triceratops — as so many kids 
and paleontologists are happy 
to do. The fantasy is so 
compelling, the cinematic trick- 
ery so wizardly, that we really 
can imagine live dinosaurs in 
our world. But are the 
hot-blooded and often hot- 
tempered dinosaurs of Jurassic 
Park behaving as live dinosaurs 
would? If so, how could we keep 
ourselves safe from them, and 
them safe from us? 

These questions were very 
much on the mind of Crichton as 
they were to Spielberg and a 

52 OMNI 

host of hired dinosaur guns — 
scientists, artists, and special- 
effects experts— during two 
years of elaborate preproduc- 
tion, several months of shooting, 
and in the final generation of 
computer graphics in postpro- 
duction — all under the shroud of 
extreme secrecy. By hrding the 
dinosaurs in progress from the 
press (the models were even 
cloaked in sheets on the sets 
between scenes), Spielberg 
wasn't zealously guarding trade 
secrets as much as he was 
wishing to preserve what he 
calls their "magic" — keeping the 
media and public focus away 
from high-tech gadgetry and 
under-the compelling illusion 

that living dinosaurs do exist, if 
only on celluloid. 

As a writer on dinosaurs, I had 
several opportunities to visit with 
the dinosaurs and the director 
during the laborious process of 
bringing them to life. On each 
occasion, Spielberg was eager 
to talk dinosaurs. He wanted to 
know, did he have T. rex's 
proportions right? Dead right — 
though the arms were a bit long. 
What did they sound like? He 
asked that paleontologist David 
Weishampel send him tapes of 
simulated duckbill sounds. 

The lengths to which the 
makers of Jurassic Park went in 
order to adhere to science fact 
and science possibility, not 
science fiction, were much in 
evidence during shooting of an 
opening scene of the film, where 
paleontologist Grant unearths 
two dinosaur skeletons from a 
Montana hillside. A badlands 
mound in a wilderness refuge in 
the Mojave Desert was outfitted 
to resemble a quarry. Horner's 
Museum of the Rockies and its 
dinosaur sculptor Matt Smith 
supplied the cast skeletons. The 
simulation extended to mound- 
ing fake rocks around the fossils 


ist Elite 
Sailer (Laura 
Dern) ex- 
amines a sitk 
la the final pJ 
Park (above). 
The Dilopho- 
souths (spitter) 
reads to a 
surprise (left). 

since a genuine hole couldn't be dug 
on protected land. Horner sprinted 
from set to set, ensuring that the tools, 
the costumes, the dialogue, befit an actu- 
al excavation. When i mentioned a nig- 
gling error to Spielberg in Horner's ab- 
sence — that actress Laura Dern was 
incorrecliy referring to a dinosaur skel- 
eton's death-rigor-curled pose as the 
product of "lots and lots of time" — the 
director called a halt to the shooting 
while Dern's lines were redrafted. 

But ultimately, Jurassic Park, the mov- 
ie, maintains greatest fidelity not to di- 
nosaur science, but to Jurassic Park, 
the book. That book, as its author Mi- 
chael Chcfrton freely admits, is at best 
reasonable speculation. "I imagined 
that a great deal was known about di- 
nosaur behavior — what these animals 
looked like, what their coloration was, 
what their movements were, what their 
social life was like. In fact, there wasn't 
any information. There are only educat- 
ed and not-so-well-educated guesses, 
and those have changed over time." 

V\fe may never know what colors di- 
nosaurs were, and they could have 
been polka-dotted as easily as decked 
out in the jungle-camouflage tones of 
the movie's creatures. What we do 
know and can reasonably speculate 
about dinosaurs is often, but not al- 
ways, consonant with their image in Ju- 
rassic Park. For economic reasons, the 
cast of dinosaurs — a hodgepodge of an- 
imals that have more to do with the Cre- 
taceous period (135 to 65 million years 
B.P) than with the middle era of dino- 
saurs, the Jurassic period — has been 
reduced to just six. 

Tyrannosaurus rex is the king of Ju- 
rassic Park, as it was in dinosaur 
times. In Jurassic Park, it's a vicious, 
fast-moving predator capable of crush- 
ing Ford Explorers and gripping prey 
with its prehensile tongue. T. rex's ba- 
nana-sized teeth were capable of punc- 
turing bone and so perhaps crunching 
metal, but tongues don't fossilize. 
"Some reptiles have sticky tongues, but 
I'd bet T. rex's tongue couldn't do all 
that," says James Farlow, a University 
of Indiana, Purdue, dinosaur paleontol- 
ogist and I rex authority. 

Horner himself questions a far larg- 
er assumption about T. rex — that it was 
a savage hunter. In his new book, The 
Complete T rex, he attacks the com- 
mon perception of T. rex as a preda- 
tor. "Most big meat eaters today are 
scavengers. Even the hunters get 
most of their food by scavenging. 
There were plenty of corpses around for 
J. rex to eat. There was no good rea- 
son for it to go chasing a lunch." And 
if it did as in Jurassic Park, Farlow 
points out, "T rex would be pretty stu- 

54 OMNI 

pid to keep chasing these people — 
four lousy bites — when it could be get- 
ting a lot more meat out of one dino- 
saur in the park." 

But another of Crichton's speculative 
J. rex behaviors met with general agree- 
ment from dinosaur scientists: T. rex 
would be particularly attracted to mov- 
ing animals, although motionless prey 
wouldn't in,! i' ■ .. ii ■■■ ■., ape its ravag- 
es. "A lot of predators pick up on mo- 
tion," says Farlow, "toads, birds. It's not 
a bad guess for T. rex." There was log- 
ic, too, in the book's speculation that T. 
rex swam, as it did in a scene not adapt- 
ed to the film, although the filmmakers 
did call to inquire if T rex could swim. 
(The answer is probably yes — there are 
footprint marks pushing off a shore to 
suggest smaller carnivorous dinosaurs 
did swim, so T. rex may have also.) 

While dinosaur paleontologists agree 
with the portrayal of the gentle plant eat- 


Veiociraptor and 

his kind 

took a budget larger 


all the dollars ever 


on dinosaur science.? 

ers of Jurassic Park, a cowlike Tricera- 
iops and a treetop-grazing Brachiosau- 
rus, a few scientists — Farlow among 
them — say the small villains are based 
on fantasy, not fact. In the book, the ten- 
foot "spitter," a Dilbphosaurus, fans its 
cobralike hood and spits poisonous ven- 
om. The real-life Dilophosauruswas near- 
ly 20-feet long and, like all dinosaurs, 
left no clue of fans or poison glands. 

Crichton explains how he made the 
fantastic leap. "We know there was 
this great variety of animals that at one 
time populated the earth, and they 
must have had an enormous variety of 
behaviors. I imagined some of them 
were poisonous and could spit as cer- 
tain modern-day reptiles can." Farlow 
isn't persuaded. "Sure cobras spit, and 
anyihing's possible." According to 
some scientists, however, you can't get 
much farther apart than snakes and di- 
nosaurs on the family tree of diapsids 
(the evolutionary group that includes an- 
imals best known as "reptiles"). 

No Jurassic Park dinosaur raises 
more questions among scientists than 

does its most dastardly dinosaur, 
Veiociraptor. These raptors are as big 
as we are, considerably faster, and sav- 
vy and dexterous enough to turn a door- 
knob. Crichton featured the raptors 
with their size and smarts in mind. "You 
have certain obligations when casting 
dinosaurs— a Tyrannosaurus, a Stego- 
saurus, a Triceratops. Then you 
choose among the less-well-known an- 
imals that interest you." 

According to Crichton, he was attract- 
ed in particular to Velociraptors four to 
six feet tall. "I imagine them to be very 
quick, very bright — bright as chimpan- 
zees and more vicious," he says. "Com- 
pared to body size, they had a larger 
brain case and so they were more like- 
ly to be intelligent, quick moving." Crich- 
ton speculates that Velociraptors may 
have hunted in packs, using their ter- 
rible central claw — almost six inches 
long — to rip at their prey. "That they're 
closer to human size and can go into 
buildings — that makes them all the 
more frightening," he says. 

Careful research ■informs Crichton's 
dinosaur speculations. Paleontologists, 
however, know Veiociraptor as a Mon- 
golian dinosaur closer in size to a poo- 
dle than a person. In the film, Jurassic 
Park, it's been sized up and confused 
with its slightly larger North American 
cousin, Deinonychus. 

But with their raptors, Crichton and 
Spielberg weren't bucking science, 
just presaging it. In 1992, Colorado pa- 
leontologist James Kirkland announced 
the discovery of Utahraptor, an earlier 
and far larger relative of Deinonychus. 
New discoveries of raptors in Mongo- 
lia by American Museum of Natural His- 
tory scientists also show that some rap- 
tor dinosaurs grew at least to Jurassic 
Park proportions. 

Horner says the dinosaurs in the film 
"move just like an animal, not too fast 
or slow." But as Crichton envisaged 
them, not even sprinter Carl Lewis is a 
match for Velociraptors. Indeed, some 
scientists have theorized dinosaurs 
sprinting at 50 miles per hour or more. 
But most scientific esLimales of dinosaur 
speed — made from measuring the 
stride lengths of dinosaurs from foot- 
prints and comparing those to the ani- 
mal's size — fall far short of Lewis's 25- 
mile-per-hour dash. According to the 
trackway evidence, the top speed so far 
is 25 miles per hour for what seems to 
have been a medium-sized ornitho- 
mimidlike (ostrich mimicking) dinosaur. 
However, savants of dinosaur locomo- 
tion think some dinosaur speed esti- 
mates have been widely overestimated. 
And must dinosaurs have been hot 
in order to trot? The raptors of Jurassic 
Park are raging hot-bloods as are the 

other dinosaurs in the film. But new dis- 
coveries of dinosaur metabolism sug- 
gest only that some smaller, more ac- 
tive carnivores like Deinonychus may 
have been hot-blooded in a manner sim- 
ilar to our own metabolism. Other dino- 
saurs may have switched slrategies as 
they matured, as their growth slowed 
and [heir volume grew to proportions 
that maintained much of their body 
heat from their bulk alone— without burn- 
ing calories as expensively as we do. 
"Dinosaurs probably kept warm," Far- 
low speculates, adding that dinosaurs' 
body temperatures might have been as 
warm as — or warmer than — ours. 

Science does not. however, support 
the speculation of raptors as quick- 
witted as the sharpest primates. The 
smartest dinosaur, a more distant rela- 
tive of the raptors, Troodon, was about 
as brainy, pound for pound, as an os- 
trich. That's pretty smart by most ani- 
mal standards and brighter than our an- 
cestors, the mammals of dinosaur 
times, but much dimmer than a chimp. 
"Carnivorous dinosaurs may have 
been smart enough to pack hunt," Far- 
low says. "Even some lizards move 
about in packs." But Southern Method- 
ist University (SMU) paleontologist Lou- 
is Jacobs adds, "I can't picture a dino- 
saur figuring out how to open a door." 

If we ever figure out how to open the 
doors of genetic engineering wide 
enough to re-create extinct life, then Ju- 
rassic Park, not just its dinosaurs, be- 
comes a possibility and perhaps a re- 
ality with which paleontologists and bi- 
ologists will have to contend. Says 
Crichton, "I think it's possible we can 
make a Jurassic Park one day, and I 
wouldn't be surprised if at some point 
somebody decided to make one. I 
hope so. I'd enjoy going very much." 
So would the scientists who've only 
been able to study dinosaurs as fossils, 
"i think it would be pretty cool, though 
I'd like to see dinosaurs brought back 
more for study than for entertainment," 
says Horner. 

But just keeping dinosaurs alive, es- 
pecially on a small island off the coast 
of Costa Rica, as in Jurassic Park, 
would be a task fraught with problems. 
£scap:ng dinosaurs-, as in the film, 
aren't much of a hazard in the eyes of 
dinosaur scientists or zookeepers of 
modern-day big animals. "We make T. 
rex out to be a raging brute, but I 
doubt they're much more dangerous 
than a tiger. After all, you can only get 
bitten to death once," says Farlow. "Se- 
riously, we've learned to handle other 
large animals from bears to elephants 
safely. Why not T. rex?" 

Not everyone agrees with Farlow. 
Keeping big animals isn't so safe, says 
Denver Zoo elephant keeper Liz 
Hooton. "Bull elephants kill an average 
of one zookeeper a year worldwide." 
Still, Hooton thinks a T. rex could be han- 
dled. "With positive reinforcement, you 
can teach any animal." SMU's Jacobs 
recalls seeing crocodiles trained to 
come for leftovers tossed into a river in 
Kenya. But, Hooton adds, "the trick 
would be not to allow the dinosaurs to 
associate us too closely with food." 
Such handouts could cost a keeper a 
hand or more. 

The closest living relatives of T. rex. 
the raptors, and other carnivorous di- 
nosaurs aren'telephants or other mam- 
mals or crocodiles — they're birds. A cap- 
tive-bird expert, Bill Toone, says, "I 
think we could keep dinosaurs." 
Toone is curator of birds, including the 
endangered condors, at the San Die- 
go Wild Animal Park. Rick Carter, pro- 
duction designer for the film, visited the 
large, mixed species exhibits at the 
park while researching Jurassic Park. 
But it's highly unlikely, Toone suggests, 
that dinosaurs would be allowed to 
roam widely on a tropical island. 

A tropical environment would be the 
best, says Toone, for growing the food 
the dinosaurs would require because its 


It's the future. 
And it arrives every 
week on the TV series 
that takes you to 
the leading edge of 
technology and beyond! 




I Opmet/pt 


greenhouselike cl rrme ■-■vould promote 
the fastest growth. The real herbivorous 
dinosaurs were native to temperate rain 
forests and ate conifers and like plants. 
But getting enough food for them on a 
small island would presenl a problem, 
as Farlow notes. "There isn't room on a 
Caribbean island for big herbivores to 
forage. They'd strip the place clean, 
and importing the food is expensive." 
Horner suggests "a bigger island, one 
that's oriented north-south, since it ap- 
pears the big dinosaur herbivores mi- 
grated that way." He'd try New Zealand. . 
"O'f course, we'd have to move the peo- 
ple," he says. And what about the 
sheep already there 7 "The dinosaurs 
would take care of thern pretty fast." 

It's the nature of the food available 
for dinosaur herbivores as much as the 
quantities needed that raise doubts in 
scientists' minds about dinosaurs brows- 
ing in a tropical forest. Just as the Tri- 
ceratops gets sick from the berries in 
Jurassic Park, real-life paleobotanist Bon- 
nie Jacobs of SMU worries that dino- 
saurs wouldn't find many familiar 
foods. "There were no. rain forests as 
we know them in dinosaur times. We do 
have plants around from the same fam- 
ilies dinosaurs knew — tree ferns, mon- 
key-puzzle trees, cycads, ginkgoes, 
magnolias — all things dinosaurs might 

eat." But none of these plants lived in 
the same communities or environments 
as they "do today, 

Malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies 
could easBy do in the dinosaurs in a real- 
life Jurassic Park. Zookeeper Toone sug- 
gests keeping the dinosaurs entirely on 
imported, carefully monitored foods. But 
even that is no guarantee of health. An.d 
Denver zookeeper Hooton says his zoo 
had an elephant that fell down and nev- 
er got up. "We didn't realize it had suf- 
fered from a vitamin deficiency." 

Disease presents another hazard of 
unknown proportions to keeping dino- 
saurs. "I'm scared to death of the in- 
fection problems," says Toone. "We 
haven't seen a single infection in 13 
years of keeping condors, but we al- 
ways expect the unexpected." Lots of 
organisms that present infection prob- 
lems have evolved since dinosaurs. Big 
earn vores as especially susceptible to 
spreading infections since it's hard to 
get close enough to the animals to 
check them out. 

Carnivorous dinosaurs would likely 
be kept in small enclosures for training 
purposes, and in small enclosures, 
waste becomes a danger to health. "No 
matter how much you swept, they'd be 
walking in their own waste," says 
Hooton, who also points out that in 

close confinement, you'd' have to keep 
trimming the dinosaurs' feet, since 
their nails would probably grow too 
long from lack of proper exercise. 
Jack Hanna. director emeritus of the Co- 
lumbus Zoo, says, "just cleaning up 
their crap would be a major problem. 
With an elephant, it's 40 pounds a day. 
Who knows how much it would be with 
a dinosaur. We might have to hire ex- 
tra keepers just to sweep up." Each 
flesh-eating dinosaur would be 
housed individually. and only united 
with potential mates when both prospec- 
tive partners showed some interest by 
nest building or courtship behavior. "It 
could be the male or the female or 
both dinosaurs who build the nest and 
tend the babies. That's how it is with 
birds," says Toone. 

For containing dinosaurs in close quar- 
ters, Toone suggests double gates, elec- 
tric fencing, and steel doors, such as 
those used to enclose the 40-odd rhi- 
nos at the Wild Animal Park. "With pa- 
trolling guards and video, .you could 
keep the dinosaurs from getting out and 
anything else from getting in." Toone 
says he'd train the dinosaur carnivores 
by "only giving them food when they 
went in the 'bedroom'"— a "squeeze 
gate" constructed of hydraulically op- 
erated movable walls. When rhinos 
need to be examined by veterinarians, 
they are temporarily placed in such 
chutes in order to restrain them without 
anesthetics. "Anytime you try to tranquil- 
ize an animal that big, you risk killing 
it," Toone says. 

So where's the best confined space 
to keep a live dinosaur? Horner says 
he'd keep it in a lab. All the safer to do 
what Farlow and other scientists sug- 
gest is the first thing any of them 
would do with a live dinosaur. "I'd stick 
a thermometer up it and see how hot it 
was," says Farlow, thus providing the 
first experimental proof of a living dino- 
saur's metabolism. 

Perhaps then we'd know how accu- 
rate Jurassic Park's dinosaurs really are. 
For now, neither science nor Jurassic 
Park can tell us what dinosaurs were 
like or how we might keep them in 
zoos. However, as Crichton points out, 
"keeping dinosaurs is just a metaphor 
in Jurassic Park. Science is trying to do 
something that's beneficial, but it 
screws up. If we bring dinosaurs or any- 
thing else to life, we have a responsi- 
bility because we made them this 
time, They're our animals." DO 

Don Lessem is founder of the Dinosaur 
Society, author of Dinosaurs Redis- 
covered, and coauthor with John R. 
Horner of The Complete T. rex and Dig- 
ging Up J. rex. 

The Franklin Mint Museum Presents 

YES! I wish to enter my subscription for The Emperors oi 
the Orient Cness Set, consisting ot Z2 richly sculptured 
playing pieces, each one crafted in the Orient of fine 
Tesori" porcelain and individually hand-painted. 

1 need SEND NO MONEY NOW. I "' 

playing pieces every other month, hut will be hilled for 
just one at a time-SSO' per month-beginning W 
first shipment is ready to Be sent to me. The chesshoard, 
Certificate of Authenticity and special reference notes, 
will be sent to me at no additional charge. 


Telephone #( 1 






Mr. Fox is coming 

to America — and all of England 

is coming with him. 


Mr. Fox was, he real- 
ized afterward, 
with a shudder of 

sudden recognition like'thatof 
the man who gives a cup of 
water to a stranger and finds 
out hours, or even years later, 
that it was Napoleon, perhaps 
the first to notice. Perhaps. At 
least no one else in Brighton 
seemed to be looking at the 
sea that day. He was taking 
his constitutional on the Board- 
walk, thinking of Lizzie Eusta- 
ce and her diamonds, the peo- 
ple in novels becoming increas- 
ingly more real to him as the 
people in the everyday (or "re- 
al") world grew more remote, 
when he noticed that the 
waves seemed funny. 

"Look," he said to Anthony, 
who accompanied him every- 
where, which was not far, his 
customary world being circum- 
scribed by the Boardwalk to 
the south, Mrs. Oldenshield's 
to the east, the cricket 
grounds to the north, and the 
Pig & Thistle, where he kept a 
room — or more precisely, a 
room kept him, and had since 
1956— to the west. 

"Woof?" said Anthony, in 
what might have been a quiz- 
zical tone. 

"The waves," said Mr. Fox. 
"They seem — well, odd, don't 
they? Closer together?" 


"Well, perhaps not. Could 
be just my imagination." 

Fact is, waves had always 
looked odd to Mr. Fox. Odd 
and tiresome and sinister. He 
enjoyed the Boardwalk but he 
never walked on the beach 

proper, not only because he disliked 
the shifty quality of the sand but be- 
cause of the waves with their ceaseless 
back and forth. He didn't understand 
why the sea had to toss about so. Riv- 
ers didn't make all that fuss, and they 
were actually going somewhere. The 
movement of the waves seemed to sug- 
gest that something was stirring things 
up, just beyond the horizon. Which was 
what Mr. Fox had always suspected in 
his heart, which was why he had never 
visited his sister in America. 

"Perhaps the waves have always 
looked funny and I have just never no- 
ticed," said Mr. Fox. If indeed funny was 
the word for something so odd. 

At any rate, it was almost half past 
four. Mr. Fox went to Mrs. Oldenshield's, 
and with a pot of tea and a plate of short- 
bread biscuits placed in front of him, 
read his daily Trollope — he had long 
ago decided to read all forty-seven nov- 
els in exactly the order, and at about 
the rate, in which they had been writ- 
ten — then fell asleep for twenty minutes. 
When he awoke (and no one but he 
knew he was sleeping) and closed the 
book, Mrs. Oldenshield put it away for 
him, on the high shelf where the com- 
plete set, bound in Morocco, resided in 
state. Then Mr: Fox walked to the crick- 
et ground, so that Anthony might run 
with the boys and their kites until din- 
ner was served at the Pig & Thistle. A 
whisky at nine with Harrison ended 
what seemed at the time to be an ordi- 
nary day, 

The next day it all began in earnest. 

Mr. Fox awoke to a hubbub of traf- 
fic, footsteps, and unintelligible 
shouts. There was, as usual, no one but 
himself and Anthony (and of course, the 
Finn, who cooked) at breakfast; but out- 
side, he found the streets remarkably 
lively for the time of year. He saw more 
and more people as he headed down- 
town, until he was immersed in a virtu- 
al sea of humanity. People of all sorts, 
even Pakistanis and foreigners, not or- 
dinarily much in evidence in Brighton off 

"What in the world can it be?" Mr. 
Fox wondered aloud. "I simply can't 

"Woof," said Anthony, who couldn't 
imagine either, but who was never 
called upon to do so. 

With Anthony in his arms, Mr. Fox pick- 
ed his way through the crowd along the 
King's Esplanade until he came to the 
entrance to the Boardwalk. He mount- 
so OMNI 


making close to two 

■ knots now," 

the African said. 


herself is underway." 

ed the twelve steps briskly. It was irri- 
tating to have one's customary way 

blocked by strangers, The Boardwalk 
was half-filled with strollers who, instead 
of strolling, were holding onto the rail 
and looking out to sea. It was mysteri- 
ous; but then the habits of everyday peo- 
ple had always been mysterious to Mr. 
Fox; they were much less likely to stay 
in character than the people in novels. 

The waves were even closer togeth- 
er than they had been the day before; 
■they were piling up as if pulled toward 
the shore by a magnet. The surf where 
it broke had the. odd appearance of a 
single continuous wave about one and 
a half feet high. Though it no longer 
seemed to be rising, the water had ris- 
en during the night; It covered half the 
beach, coming almost up to the sea 
wall just below the Boardwalk. 

The wind was quite stout for the sea- 
son, Off to the left (the east) a dark line 
was seen on the horizon. It might have 
been clouds but it looked more solid, 
like land. Mr. Fox could not remember 

ever having seen it before, even 
though he had walked here daily for the 
past forty-two years. 


Mr. Fox looked to his left. Standing 
beside him at the rail of the Boardwalk 
was a large, one might even say port- 
ly, African man with ah alarming hair- 
do. He was wearing a tweed coat. An 
English girl clinging to his arm had 
asked the question. She was pale with 
dark, stringy hair, and she wore an oil- 
skin cape that looked wet even though 
it wasn't raining, 

"Beg your pardon?" said Mr. Fox. 

"That's a dog?" The girl was point- 
ing toward Anthony. 


"Well, of course it's a dog." 

"Can't he walk?" 

"Of course he can walk. He just 
doesn't always choose to." 

"You bloody wish," said the girl, snort- 
ing unattractively and looking away. 
She wasn't exactly' a girl. She could 
have been twenty. 

"Don't mind her," said the African. 
"Look at that chop, would you." 

"Indeed," Mr. Fox said. He didn't 
know what to make of the girl but he 
was grateful to the African for starting 
a conversation. It was often difficult 
these days; it had become increasing- 
ly difficult over the years. "A storm off 
shore, perhaps?" he ventured. 

"A storm?" the African said. "I 
guess you haven't heard, It was on the 
telly hours ago. We're making close to 
two knots now, south and east. Head- 
ing around Ireland and out to sea." 

"Out to sea?" Mr. Fox looked over his 
shoulder at the King's Esplanade and 
the buildings beyond, which seemed as 
stationary as ever. "Brighton is heading 
out to sea?" 

"You bloody wish," the girl said. 

"Not just Brighton, man," the African 
said. For the first time, Mr. Fox could 
hear a faint Caribbean lilt in his voice. 
"England herself is underway." 

England underway? How extraordi- 
nary. Mr. Fox could see what he sup- 
posed was excitement in the faces of 
the other strollers on the Boardwalk all 
that day. The wind smelled somehow 
saltier as he went to take his tea. He al- 
most told Mrs. Oldenshield the news 
when she brought him his pot and plat- 
ter; but the affairs of the day, which had 
never intruded far into her tea room, re- 
ceded entirely when he took down his 
book and began to read. This was (as 

it turned out) the very day that Lizzie fi- 
nally read the letter from Mr. Camper- 
down, the Eustace family lawyer 
which she had carried unopened for 
three days. As Mr. Fox had expected, 
it demanded that the diamonds be re- 
turned to her late husband's family. In 
response, Lizzie bought a strongbox. 
That evening, England's peregrinations 
were all the news on BBC. The kingdom 
was heading south into the Atlantic at 
1.8 knots, according to the newsmen on 
the telly over the bar at the Pig &. This- 
tle, where Mr. Fox was accustomed to 
taking a glass of whisky with Harrisi 
the barkeep, before retiring. In the s 
teen hours since the phenomenon had 
first been detected, England had gone 
some thirty-five miles, beginning 
long turn around Ireland which would 
carry it into the open sea, 

"Ireland is not going?" asked Mr. 

"Ireland has been independent 
since 19 and 21," said Harrison, who 
often hinted darkly at having relatives 
with the IRA. "Ireland is hardly about to 
be chasing England around the seven 

"Well, what about, you know . . . ?" 

"The Six Counties? The Six Counties 
have always been a part of Ireland and 
always will be," said Harrison. Mr, Fox 
nodded politely and finished his whis- 
key. It was not his custom to argue pol- 
itics, particularly not with barkeeps, and 
certainly not with the Irish. 

"So i suppose you'll be going 

"And lose me job?" 

For the next several days, the wave 
got no higher but it seemed steadier. It 
was not a chop but a continual smooth 
wake, streaming across the shore to the 
east as England began its turn to the 
west. The cricket ground grew desert- 
ed as the boys laid aside their kites and 
joined the rest of the town at the shore, 
watching the waves. There was such a 
crowd on the Boardwalk that several of 
the shops, which had closed for the sea- 
■ son, reopened. Mrs. Oldenshield's was 
no busier than usual, however, and Mr. 
Fox was able to forge ahead as steadi- 
ly in his reading as Mr. Trollope had in 
his writing. It was not long before Lord 
Fawn, with something almost of dignity 
in his gesture and demeanour, de- 
clared himself to the young widow Eu- 
stace and asked for her hand. Mr. Fox 
knew Lizzie's diamonds would be trou- 
ble, though. He knew something of heir- 
looms himself. His tiny attic room in the 
Pig & Thistle had been left to him in per- 
petuity by the innkeeper, whose life had 
been saved by Mr. Fox's father during 
an air raid. A life saved (said the inn- 
keeper, an East Indian, but a Christian, 

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not a Hindu) was a debt never fully 
paid. Mr. Fox had often wondered 
where he would have lived if he'd 
been forced to go out and find a 
place, like so many in novels did. In- 
deed, in real life as well. That evening 
on the telly there was panic in Belfast 
as the headlands of Scotland slid by, 
soulh. Were the Loyalists to be left be- 
hind? Everyone was waiting to hear 
from the King, who was closeted with 
his advisors. 

The next morning, there was a letter 
on the little table in the downstairs hall- 
way at the Pig & Thistle. Mr. Fox knew 
as soon as he saw the letter that it was 
the fifth of the month. His niece, Emily, 
always mailed her letters from America 
on the first, and they always arrived on 
the morning of the fifth. 

Mr. Fox opened it, as always, just af- 
ter tea at Mrs. Oldenshield's. He read 
the ending first, as always, to make 
sure there were no surprises. "Wish you 
could see your great-niece before she's 
grown," Emily wrote; she wrote the 
same thing every month. When her moth- 
er, Mr. Fox's sister, Clare, had visited 
after moving to America, it had been his 
niece she had wanted him to meet. Emi- 
ly had taken up the same refrain since 
her mother's death. "Your great-niece 
will be a young lady soon," she wrote, 
as if this were somehow Mr, Fox's do- 
ing. His only regret was that Emily, in 
asking him to come to America when 
her mother died, had asked him to do 
the one thing he couldn't even contem- 
plate; and so he had been unable to 
grant her even the courtesy of a refus- 
al. He read all the way back to the open- 
ing ("Dear Uncie Anthony") then fold- 
ed the letter very small, and put it into 
the box with the others when he got 
back to-his room that evening. 

The bar seemed crowded when he 
came downstairs at nine. The King, in 
a brown suit with a green and gold tie, 
was on the telly, sitting in front of a 
clock in a BBC studio. Even Harrison, 
never one for royalty, set aside the glass- 
es he was polishing and listened while 
Charles confirmed that England was, in- 
deed, underway. His words made it of- 
ficial, and there was a polite "hip, hip, 
hooray" from the three men (two of 
them strangers) at the end of the bar. 
The King and his advisors weren't ex- 
actly sure when England would arrive, 
nor, for that matter, where it was going. 
Scotland and Wales were, of course, 
coming right along. Parliament would an- 
nounce time-zone adjustments as nec- 
essary. While His Majesty was aware 
that there was cause for concern 
about Northern Ireland and the Isle of 
Man, there was as yet no cause for 

62 OMNI 

His Majesty, King Charles, spoke for 
almost half an hour, but Mr. Fox 
missed much of what he said. His eye 
had been caught by the date under the 
clock on the wall behind the King's 
head. It was the fourth of the month, not 
the fifth; his niece's letter had arrived a 
day early! This, even more than the fun- 
ny waves or the King's speed], 
seemed to announce that the world was 
changing. Mr. Fox had a sudden, but 
not unpleasant, feeling almost of dizzi- 
ness. After it had passed, and the bar 
had cleared out, he suggested to Har- 
rison, as he always did at closing time: 
"Perhaps you'll join me in a whisky"; 
and as always, Harrison replied, "Don't 
mind if I do." 

He poured two Bells'. Mr. Fox had no- 
ticed that when other patrons 
"bought" Harrison a drink, and the 
barkeep passed his hand across the bot- 
tle and pocketed the tab, the whisky 

evening on the telly there 

was panic 

in Belfast as the headlands 

of Scotland 

slid by, south. Everyone 

was waiting 
to hear from the King? 

was Bushmills. It was only with Mr. Fox, 
at closing, that he actually took a 
drink, and then it was always scotch. 

"To your King," said Harrison. "And 
to plate tectonics." 

"Beg your pardon?" 

"Plate tectonics, Fox. Weren't you lis- 
tening when your precious Charles ex- 
plained why all this was happening? All 
having to do with movement of the 
Earth's crust, and such." 

"To plate tectonics," said Mr, Fox. He 
raised his glass to hide his embarrass- 
ment. He had in fact heard the words, 
but had assumed they had to do with 
plans to protect the household treas- 
ures at Buckingham Palace. 

Mr. Fox never bought the papers, but 
the next morning he slowed down to 
read the headlines as he passed the 

news stalls. King Charles's picture was 
on all the front pages, looking confident- 
ly into the future. 




read the Daily Alarm. The Economist 
took a less sanguine view: 

Although Northern Ireland was legally 
and without question part of the United 
Kingdom, the BBC explained that 
night, it was for some inexplicable rea- 
son apparently remaining with Ireland. 
The King urged his subjects in Belfast 
and Londonderry not to panic; arrange- 
ments were being made for the evacu- 
ation of all who. wished it. 

The King's address seemed to have 
a calming effect over the next few 
days. The streets of Brighton grew qui- 
et once again. The Esplanade and the 
Boardwalk still saw a few video crews, 
which kept the fistvand-chips stalls 
busy; but they bought no souvenirs, 
and the gift shops all closed again one 
by one. 

"Woof," said Anthony, delighted to 
find the boys back on the cricket 
ground with their kites. "Things are get- 
ting back to normal," said Mr. Fox. But 
were they really? The smudge on the 
eastern horizon was Brittany, according 
to the newsmen on the telly; next 
would be the open sea. One shuddered 
to think of it. Fortunately, there was fa- 
miliarity and warmth at Mrs. Oldensh- 
ield's, where Lizzie was avoiding the Eu- 
stace family lawyer, Mr. Camperdown, 
by retreating to Uer castle in Ayr. Lord 
Fawn (urged on by his family) was in- 
sisting he couldn't marry her unless she 
gave up the diamonds. Lizzie's answer 
was to carry the diamonds with her to 
Scotland in a strongbox, Later that 
week, Mr. Fox saw the African again. 
There was a crowd on the old West 
Pier, and even though it was beginning 
to rain, Mr. Fox walked out to the end, 
where a boat was unloading. It was a 
sleek hydrofoil, with the Royal Family's 
crest upon its bow. Two video crews 
were filming, as sailors in slickers 
passed an old lady in a wheelchair 
from the boat to the pier. She was hand- 
ed an umbrella and a tiny white dog. 
The handsome young captain of the hy- 
drofoil waved his braided hat as he 
gunned the motors and pulled away 
from the pier; the crowd cried "hurrah" 
as the boat. rose on its spidery legs and 
blasted off into the rain. 

"Woof," said Anthony. No one else 
paid any attention to the old lady, sit- 
ting in the wheelchair with a wet, shiv- 
ering dog on her lap. She had fallen 
asleep (or perhaps even died!) and 
dropped her umbrella. Fortunately it 
wasn't raining. "That would be the 
young Prince of Wales," said a familiar 
voice to Mr. Fox's left. It was the Afri- 

can. According to him (and he 

seemed to know such things) the Chan- 
nel Islands, and most of the islanders; 
had been left behind. The hydrofoil had 
been sent to Guernsey at the Royal Fam- 
ily's private expense to rescue the old 
lady, who'd had a last-minute change 
of heart; perhaps she'd wanted to die 
in England. "He'll be in Portsmouth by 
five," said the African, pointing to an al- 
ready far-off plume of spray. 

"Is it past four already?" Mr. Fox 
asked. He realized he had lost track of 
the time. 

"Don't have a watch?" asked the 
girl, sticking her head around the Afri- 
can's bulk. 

Mr. Fox hadn't seen her lurking 
there. "Haven't really needed one," he 

"You bloody wish," she said. 

"Twenty past, precisely," said the Af- 
rican. "Don't mind her, mate." Mr. Fox 
had never been called "mate" before. 
He was pleased that even with all the 
excitement, he hadn't missed his tea. 
He hurried to Mrs. Oldenshield's, 
where he found a fox hunt just getting 
underway at Portray, Lizzie's castle in 
Scotland. He settled down eagerly to 
read about it. A fox hunt! Mr. Fox was 
a believer in the power of names. 

The weather began to change, !o get, 
at the same time, warmer and rougher. 
In the satellite pictures on the telly over 
the bar at the Pig & Thistle, England 
was a cloud-dimmed outline that could 
just as easily have been a drawing as 
a photo. After squeezing between Ire- 
land and Brittany, like a restless child 
slipping from the arms of its ancient Celt- 
ic parents, it was headed south and 
west, into the open Atlantic. The 
waves came no longer at a slant but 
straight in at the sea wall. Somewhat to 
his surprise, Mr. Fox enjoyed his con- 
stitutional more than ever, knowing 
that he was looking at a different 
stretch of sea every day, even though 
it always looked the same. The wind 
was strong and steady in his face, and 
the Boardwalk was empty. Even the 
newsmen were gone — to Scotland, 
where it had only just been noticed 
that the Hebrides were being left be- 
hind with the Orkneys and the Shet- 
lands. "Arctic islands with their own tra- 
ditions, languages, and monuments, all 
mysteriously made of stone," explained 
the reporter, live from Uig, by remote. 
The video showed a postman shouting 
incomprehensibly into the wind and 

"What's he saying?" Mr. Fox asked. 
"Would that be Gaelic?" 

"How would I be expected to 
know?" said Harrison. 

A few evenings later, a BBC crew in 
the Highlands provided the last view of 
the continent: the receding headlands 
of Brittany seen from the 3,504-foot sum- 
mit of Ben Hope, on a bright, clear day. 
"It's a good thing," Mr. Fox joked to. An- 
thony the next day, "that Mrs. Olden- 
shield has laid in plenty of Hyson." 
This was the green tea Mr. Fox pre- 
ferred. She had laid in dog biscuits for 
Anthony as well. Lizzie herself was leav- 
ing Scotland, following the last of her 
guests back to London, when her ho- 
tel room was robbed and her strongbox 
was stolen, just as Mr. Fox had always 
feared it would be. For a week it 
rained. Great swells pounded at the sea 
wall. Brighton was almost deserted. The 
faint-hearted had left for Portsmouth, 

where they were protected by the Isle 
of Wight from the winds and waves 
that struck what might now be proper- 
ly called the bow of Britain. 

On the Boardwalk, Mr. Fox strolled as 
deliberate and proud as a captain on 
his bridge. T-he wind was almost a 
gale, but a steady gale, and he soon 
grew used to it; it simply meant walk- 
ing and standing at a tilt. The rail 
seemed to thrum with energy under his 
hand. Even though he knew that they 
were hundreds of miles at sea, Mr. Fox 
felt secure with all of England at his 
back. He began to almost enjoy the ful- 
minations of the water as it threw itself 
against the Brighton sea wall. Which 
plowed on west, into the Atlantic. 


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1 l 

the Malses Indi 

use the secre- 
tions of a rare tree 
frog (previous 

Until 1986, few 













i§ v 1 " 




Rain-forest rituals: 

year, and great gnarled tree gutt 
trunks, swept from the r 

during the last flood by giggled at 

__, mow the habits 
"and cycles of tin 

riosity among scientists who 

kiet's didn't respond. they've studied the plant life In part because of the extraor- 

From beyond the jungle clear- seminomadic, hunting-gather- 
ing of the tiny Matses Indian ing tribe who liv 
puebla of San Juan came mote jungle alor 
the howling of a distant taries of the R' 
band of monkeys and the mel- the border of P 
it- zil. Unli 
region, «._ 
idful rudimentary weaving and c 

enced it myself, I had never 

♦♦♦ ' 
♦ of 

played our flashlights into the n . 

while their fa- dance, and they produce noth- Sapo is i 
ing for trade. What they do is I had c. 

3 hunt— with bows and arrows, lect dow-i 

for a dow-kiet!, the frog that spears, clubs, and occasi 

' ' - ally shotguns when they < 

(Although the word harsh woi 

_ tunately, that attitude ischang- 

orld throwaway things like used ing.b 

malaria, yellow fever, leaf baskets and broken ar- i 

frog. The Matses' limited com- and venomous snakes keep rows — and the Fidia Re- i 

■ch Institute for the Neu- ; 


i, both missionary and zonia — I'd 
le jungle c 

♦ When he 
~i r er in the 

irk for loggers, * I was easily sold on baby monkey he brought to remote than San Juan, 

d of chain saws ♦ the idea; so, hoping a young woman who was home to Pablo, his 

fills the air. At San Juan, the they would make contact, we nursing a 

most accessible camp on the hiked three days into the jun- Without h 

Lobo, most of the Matses not gle and made a camp. Two the monkey and allowed it to t..„ — 

h- days later, a young Matses nurse at her free breast. Each wife had her 






8've learned not to ques- 
tion the motives of bas- 
tards. They just do 
what they do. and you try 
to stop it," says geneticist 
Mary-Ciaire King. Her 
tool for stopping bas- 
tards? The decoding of 
the human genome is re- 
volutionizing genetics. But 
tracking strands of DNA 
and RNA around the 
globe and even back- 
wards into prehistory has 
also politicized the old sci- 
ence of heredity. "I've nev- 
er believed our way of 
thinking about science is 
separate from thinking 
about life. Whether we 
ize it or not, we are all po- 
litical animals." Geneticis" 
King turns discoveries a' 
the forefront of her field in 
to tools for the disenfraa 
chised, be they women. 
AIDS victims, or targets ol 
Latin America's death 
squads. Genetics in the 
hands of King is a potent 
weapon against bastards. 
Today King divides her 
time between the School 
of Public Health and the 
Department of Molecular 
and Cell Biology at the Uni- 

versity of California at 
Berkeley where she 
heads a lab of 23 research- 
ers. In 1990, she located 
a gene implicated in famil- 
ial breast cancer, which af- 
fects 600,000 women in 
the United States alone. 
She has identified ag 
that underlies inherited 
deafness. King has also 
unmasked genetic differ- 
ences in how people with 
AIDS react to the virus, 
information critical for de- 
veloping therapies and a 
vaccine against HIV. 

In pioneering research 
that hit the cover of Sci- 
ence magazine in April 
1975, King established 
that the human and chim- 
panzee genome is 99-per- 
cent identical. Her find- 
ings were used to cali- 
brate a molecular clock — 
the rate at which genetic 
molecules evolve — estab- 
lishing that apes and hu-"- 
mans diverged only 
about 5 million years ago. 
Her other major evolution- 
ary research focused on 
the genetics of mitochon- 
drial DNA, the hereditary 
material all of us can 



trace back through our n 'Dinars to a com- 
mon ancestor, the so-called "mitochon- 
drial Eve," who is thought to have lived 
as far back as 200,000 years ago in Af- 
rica. (Mitochondria, cells' energy-produc- 
ing structures, have their own genetic 
material that is passed down the ma- 
ternal line.} 

King now directs an international 
drive to map the mitochondrial DNA se- 
quences of diverse populations around 
the world. Called the Human Genome 
Diversity Project, this is a twin to the Hu- 
man Genome Project to map and se- 
quence the human nuclear genome. 
The project will study and attempt to 
safeguard the world's mitochondrial 
genomes, especially those ancient pop- 
ulations, like the African Pygmies, who 
face extinction. 

King's political engagement began 
as a graduate student at Berkeley in 
the Sixties. As an antiwar activist, she 
dropped out of school to work for 
Ralph Nader. In 1984, the Abuetas de 
Plaza de Mayo, the Grandmothers of 
the Plaza of May, asked her to help re- 
trieve their grandchildren, abducted 
during Argentina's Dirty War in the Sev- 
enties. Either sold or given to military fam- 
ilies, the children were disappeared 
along with 15,000 other people who 
were tortured and killed during this fas- 
cist reign of terror. 

The grandmothers needed evidence 
thai would both expose false families 
and prove their relatedness to children 
whom these women could not identify. 
Using evidence derived from an array 
of genetic markers King developed to 
demonstrate family relatedness, the 
grandmothers have won 50 court cas- 
es reuniting them with their grandchil- 
dren. Argentina has established a na- 
tional genetic databank for resolving 
such cases in the future. 

Born in Illinois in 1946, King— a 
great puzzle solver and lover of mys- 
teries — studied mathematics at Carle- 
ton College in Minnesota before she re- 
alized in graduate school that genetics 
is the most mysterious puzzle of all. She 
sees herself in scientific and political rev- 
olutions that are rapidly changing the 
world. Her Berkeley office occupies the 
same command post from which she 
helped organize student protests 
against the Vietnam War. King is still 
fighting bastards and s:ill doing breath- 
takingly good science. — Thomas Bass 

Omni: How did you finish your Ph.D. 
when you were so involved in the ex- 
traordinary turbulence and antiwar ac- 
tivities of the Sixties? 
King: It was impossible to do science 
when Governor Ronald Reagan closed 
the University and sent the National 
70 OMNI 

Guard to throw us out of the buildings. 
I was in complete despair. I dropped 
out and went to work for Ralph Nader, 
studying the effects of pesticides on 
farm workers. After a year, I was offered 
a job with Nader in Washington and 
was considering taking it when I went 
to see my friend Allan Wilson, profes- 
sor of biochemistry and molecular bi- 
ology at Berkeley. "I can never get my 
experiments to work," I said, "I'm a com- 
plete disaster in the lab." And Allan 
said, "if everyone whose experiments 
failed stopped doing science, there 
wouldn't be any science." So I went to 
work in his lab. 

Omni: What research was Allan 
Wilson doing? 

King: Studying how species evolve 
with biochemistry and genetics. He pos- 
tulated that humans and chimpanzees 
diverged about 5 million years ago, 
That was much more recent [by as 

^Mitochondrial DNA, 
since it's purely maternally 

transmitted, is 
ideal for human-rights cases. 

But for rapes 
and murders, the forensics 

approach has 
been the nuclear genes. 9 

much as 10 million years] than people 
who looked only at fossil evidence had 
thought. Allan asked me to look at the 
genetic difference between chimpan- 
zees and humans. I couldn't seem to 
find any differences. I'd do tests involv- 
ing migration rates of proteins, and I'd 
see a difference in one out of a hun- 
dred tests. I was in despair, but Allan 
kepi saying, "This is great; it shows how 
similar we really are to chimps!" He 
turned straw into gold, and I wrote a per- 
fectly reasoned dissertation that land- 
ed us on the cover of Science. 
Omni: Why is Wilson's work controver- 
sial even today?- 

King: With Allan's death [in 1991 at age 
56 c! iGuksmiaJ discussion of mitochon- 
drial Eve fell to people who created Ihe 
data but lack the same sense of sophis- 
tication in interpreting it. The discussion 
centers on where and when she lived, 
not whether she lived. 
Omni: What are mitochondria? 
King: They code for proteins responsi- 
ble for energy production, Each mam- 
malian cell can held tno.isands of mi- 

:ochcrdria, which buffer the cell and 
keep ii working at a good clip. Why mi- 
tochondria evolved apart from nuclear 
genes is not clear. 
Omni: Explain mitochondrial Eve. 
King: For any two individuals, one can 
always trace back through their ma- 
ternal lineages to a point where their an- 
cestors shared a mitochondrial se- 
quence. If we trace one lineage, you 
and I and everyone else can tie our- 
selves together. So there has to be a 
common origin for this branching proc- 
ess. Using the molecular clock [the 
rate of mutations in mitochondrial DNA], 
Allan estimated that the mitochondria 
Eve evolved sometime between 
150,000 and 250,000 years ago in Af- 
rica. There one finds much more varia- 
tion in mitochondrial lineages than any- 
where else. We can ail trace our ances- 
try to molecules that still exist in Africa. 
Omni: So what's the mitochondrial Eve 
debate all about? 

King: It centers on another question: 
What is the best tree we can draw to 
show these evolutionary branches? Af- 
ter Allan's death, his students published 
the best tree they'd found among the 
hundreds of thousands of possible 
trees. But it isn't significantly better 
than the next-best tree. There's so 
much molecular evidence that the abil- 
ity to test one tree against another has 
yet to be perfected. How do you take 
an enormous number of human sequenc- 
es, or sequences from other species, 
and figure out their common ancestor? 
Omni: Couldn't this ancestor be locat- 
ed somewhere other than Africa? 
King: If you say to yourself, I'm going 
to construct a tree that shows the com- 
mon origin outside Africa, you can 
push the data in that direction. You can- 
not show by statistical testing alone 
that this tree is inferior to certain Afri- 
can trees. However, none oi this bears 
on the question, Why is there so much 
more variation in Africa? Assuming the 
mitochondrial DNA changes at about 
the same rate everywhere in the world— 
because there's no selective pressure 
on it to change faster in one place 
than in another — then it will have 
changed the most where it's been 
around the longest. And there's no ques- 
tion where it's been around the most: 
Africa. All this confusion about statisti- 
cal testing happened just after Allan 
died, and, unfortunately, it's muddied 
his b'illiantly simple concept. I've yet to 
be involved publicly in the debate, but 
I will be soon because of the Human 
Genome Diversity Project. 
Omni: Whai is that? 
King: A very big deal. But let me begin 
with some personal history. The two 
main influences in my life were Allan 

Wilson and LucaCavalli-Sforza [at Stan- 
ford], Luca and I have worked togeth- 
er for a dozen years. Luca and Allan 
were interested in the same problems 
but approached them from competing 
points of view. Allan thought about mi- 
tochondrial sequences and construct- 
ing evolutionary trees. Luca thinks 
about human population genetics. 

I became obsessed with the idea 
that Allan and Luca had to start collab- 
orating. And they did — I browbeat 
them into it. They started working on a 
project to identify ancient populations 
not yet genetically devastated by inva- 
sion or death. We hope to study their 
mitochondrial sequences and nuclear 
genes to try to get a sense of how vari- 
ation has evolved and genetic migra- 
tion has occurred. 

Omni: What populations have remained 
genetically intact? 

King: Some groups of Pygmies in cen- 
tral Africa, whom Luca has studied 
since the early Sixties; populations in Si- 
beria, the Anderman Islands off the 
coast of India, the Basques, some Amer- 
indians, even Europeans who've lived 
in the same place more than 100 
years. These are recent but relatively 
stable populations. Not like you and me, 
modern urban people. Just as anthro- 
pologists record cultures, we'll compile 
a genetic record by asking for hair or 
blood samples and decoding genes. 
We want to identify genetic diversity in 
each population and see how this cor- 
responds to diversity in other popula- 
tions. We want to learn what is the rela- 
tive importance in human evolution of 
climate, resistance to pathogens, anat- 
omy, migration, mutation, and genetic 
drift; how is evolution influenced by the 
size of the population and who marries 
whom. These are the fundamental forc- 
es of human evolution. The best way to 
evaluate 1 these forces is to identify peo- 
ple who've remained where they are for 
a long time. They're the ones on whom 
evolutionary forces have been acting in 
a pure way. 

Omni: What happened when Wilson 
and Cavalli-Sforza got together? 
King: Allan was already in the hospital 
when we launched the project, I remem- 
ber writing it during the Gulf War. We 
were concerned thai there might not be 
a world left to sample. One of the 
groups we wanted to visit, a very iso- 
lated population of Iraqi Kurds, has 
been devastated. Our desire for a 
sense of human variation in many dif- 
ferent places led to a tremendous dis- 
pute between Allan and Luca, which 
was great fun to watch. Everything I've 
told you is from Luca's point of view. Al- 
lan's perspective was that the way to 
understand the forces acting on human 

72 OMNI 

evolution is not to sample diverse pop- 
ulations, but put a grid over the entire 
land mass of the earth and pick a per- 
son at every point on the grid — an in- 
digenous person. If you select popula- 
tions in advance, then all you'll do is con- 
firm what you already know. Allan want- 
ed to make many populations of size 
one; Luca wanted to work with fewer, 
but larger, populations. 
Omni: So what are you doing? 
King: Using both methods. And genet- 
icists, anthropologists, and historians all 
over the world are involved. People are 
asking, "Why is Basque a unique lan- 
guage? How did Siberians develop 
their particular anatomical features? 
Were the Americas settled in waves or 
streams? What trees are best for stu- 
dying genetic relatedness? How many 
people do you have to sample to make 
a grid? Which populations can tell us 
the most about human history?" We 

iLike others in 
the prisons, she kept lists in 

her head of 

the babies born. Janitors, too, 

were information 

sources, since the military 

didn't clean 
their own torture centers.^ 

hope to identify about 400. 
Omni: How did Argentina start disap- 
pearing its citizens? And how did you 
come to be involved in looking for kid- 
napped children? 

King: When Peron died, Isabel ruled 
briefly until the military threw her out and 
imposed an explicitly fascist dictator- 
ship. Its politics and cultural roots 
were those of the Italian and German 
fascists who'd migrated there after the 
war. Their sons took charge after the 
coup, and in 1975, a civil war started 
in earnest. The military picked up and 
kidnapped vast numbers of people to 
terrorize the population. They garnered 
pregnant women and women with ba- 
bies. Children old enough to report on 
what happened to them were killed. 
Pregnant women were kept alive and 
tortured until they gave birth. The ba- 
bies were sold or handed out for adop- 
tion among the military and then the 
mothers killed. 

By 1977, a number of human-rights 
groups, mostly of the families of the dis- 
appeared, had formed. One group con- 

sisted of grandmothers whose daugh- 
ters and sons had been killed. Their 
grandchildren were born in captivity or 
kidnapped when babes in arms. Some 
may even have been sold abroad. 
Since no one in these prisons knew any- 
thing about obstetrics, a midwife or ob- 
stetrician would be kidnapped off the 
sfrfeets, blindfolded, and told to deliver 
the child. They were instructed not to 
speak to the mother, but invariably 
they did. They'd find out her name, de- 
liver the child, and see her taken away. 
The doctor or midwife, after being 
dumped in town, would report what 
they'd learned to the grandmothers. 
Omni: What happened to the mothers? 
King: Sometimes they'd be killed out- 
right, sometimes returned to their cells 
where they'd tell other women whether 
they'd delivered a boy or girl. At the 
time of the World Cup finals, athletes re- 
fused to play in Argentina unless politi- 
cal prisoners were released or at least 
brought to trial. The military went 
through cells and picked a few people 
at random, saying they'd been declared 
innocent and "everyone else guilty. I 
know this from a woman released at the 
time — someone my age, although she 
looks 60, who is now a lawyer for the 
grandmothers. Like other women who'd 
been in detention, she kept lists in her 
head of babies who'd been born. Jani- 
tors were another good source of infor- 
mation because the military didn't 
clean their own torture centers. 
Omni: How did the grandmothers fol- 
low these' leads? 

King: When children appeared abrupt- 
ly in families where everybody knew the 
woman hadn't been pregnant, the grand- 
mothers would be called anonymously. 
When the children started kindergarten, 
the schools had to be presented with 
birth certificates — and even I can tell 
when these are forged. Again, the grand- 
mothers would be informed. By 1983, 
the time of the Malvinas-Falklands War, 
the grandmothers had information on 
144 cases. Now we're up to 217 cas- 
es. Some of the original 144 were 
killed, but most were not. 

After the Malvinas War, the grand- 
mothers realized the military was on its 
way out and that they were going to be 
able to bring these cases to court. Of- 
ten they had hypotheses about chil- 
dren's identities. They also knew it 
wasn't going to be enough to prove 
these "imposed" parents were not the 
real ones. The grandmothers needed to 
prove who the real parents were. 

In 1983, two of the grandmothers 
came to Washington, DC, and met 
with the committee on scientific respon- 
sibility at the American Association for 
the Advancement of Science. They 




Can the poison of anti-Semitism wreck years of 

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tion created by anti-Se 

a crescendoed through the pie ot many r 




on the animal's face. 

it, The tourist, one of 35 | 

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according to the Society's 
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according to Mack, "is 

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sch. Abdi ' " 

: . Putting debunkers on I Montclair State College 


"With your eyes closed, 

that may emerge as a 

Italy.— Judith Bell 

I Kniqht, who played with 
ix in a „ _ 

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With the south coast from Penzance 
to Dover in the lead (or perhaps it 
should be said, at the bow) and the High- 
lands of Scotland at the stern, the 
United Kingdom was making almost 
four knots, 3.8 to be precise. 

"A modest and appropriate speed," 
the King told his subjecls, speaking 
from his chambers in Buckingham Pal- 
ace, which had been decked out with 
nautical maps and charts, a lighted 
globe, and a silver sextant. "Approxi- 
mately equal to that of the great ships- 
ot-the-line of Nelson's day." 

In actual fact, the BBC commentator 
corrected (for they will correct even a 
king), 3.8 knots was considerably slow- 
er than an 18th century warship. But it 
was good that this was so, Britain be- 
ing, at best, blunt; indeed, it was esti- 
mated that with even a half-knot more 
speed, the seas piling up the Plymouth 
and Exeter channels would have dev- 
astated the docks. Oddly enough, it 
was London, far from the headwinds 
and bow wave, that was hardest hit. 
The wake past Margate, along what 
used to be the English Channel, had 
sucked the Thames down almost two 
feet, leaving broad mud flats along the 
Victoria Embankment and under the Wa- 
terloo Bridge. The news showed treas- 
ure seekers with gum boots tracking 
mud all over the city, "a mud as foul- 
smelling as the ancient crimes they un- 
earth daily," said BBC. Not a very pa- 
triotic report, thought Mr. Fox, who 
turned from the telly to Harrison to re- 
mark, "I believe you have family 

"In London? Not hardly," said Harri- 
son. "They've all gone to America." 

By the time the Scottish mountain 
tops should have been enduring (or per- 
haps "enjoying" is the word, being moun- 
tains, and Scottish at that) the first 
snow flurries of the winter, they were en- 
joying (or perhaps "enduring") subtrop- 
ical rains as the United Kingdom 
passed just to the north of the Azores. 
The weather in the south (now west) of 
England was springlike and fine. The 
boys at the cricket grouro, who had usu- 
ally put away their kites by this time of 
year, were out every day, affording end- 
less delight to Anthony, who accepted 
with the simple, unquestioning joy of a 
dog, the fact of a world well supplied 
with running boys. Our Day's Log, the 
popular new BBC evening show, 
which began and ended with shots of 
the bow wave breaking on the rocks of 
Cornwall, showed hobbyists with tele- 
scopes and camcorders on the cliffs at 
eo OMNI 

Dover, cheering "Land Hoi" on sight- 
ing the distant peaks of the Azores. 
Things were getting back to normal. 
The public (according to the news) was 
finding that even the mid-Atlantic held 
no terrors. The wave of urban seasick- 
ness that had been predicted never ma- 
terialized. At a steady 3.8 knots, Great 
Britain was unaffected by the motion of 
the waves, even during the fiercest 
storms: It was almost as if she had 
been designed for travel, and built for 
comfort, not for speed. A few of the small- 
er Scottish islands had been stripped 
away and had, alarmingly, sunk; but the 
only real damage was on the east (now 
south) coast, where the slipstream was 
washing away house-sized chunks of 
the soft Norfolk banks. The King was 
seen on the news, in muddy hip boots, 
helping to dike the fens against the 
wake. Taking a break from digging, he 
reassured his subjects that the United 

6At 3.8 

knots, Great Britain was 

unaffected by 

the motion of the waves, as 

if she had 

been designed for travel, 

and built 

for comfort, not for speed. 9 

Kingdom, wherever it might be head- 
ed, would remain sovereign. When a re- 
porter, with shocking impertinence, 
asked if that meant that His Majesty 
didn't know where his Kingdom was 
headed. King Charles answered coolly 
that he hoped his subjects were satis- 
fied with his performance in a role that 
was, after all, designed to content 
them with what was, rather than to 
shape or even predict what might be. 
Then, without excusing himself, he pick- 
ed up his silver shovel with the Royal 
Crest, and began to dig again. 

Meanwhile, at Mrs. Oldenshield's, all of 
London was abuzz with Lizzie's loss. Or 
supposed loss. Only Lizzie (and 
Messrs. Fox and Trollope) knew that the 
diamonds had been not in her strong- 
box but under her pillow. Mr. Fox's let- 
ter from his niece arrived a day earlier 
still, on the third of the month, under- 
scoring in its own quiet manner that Eng- 
land was indeed underway. The letter, 
which Mr. Fox read in reverse, as usu- 
al, ended alarmingly with the words "look- 

ing forward to seeing you." Forward? 
He read on backward and found "un- 
derway toward America." America? It 
had never occurred to Mr, Fox. He 
looked at the return address on the en- 
velope. It was from a town called, rath- 
er ominously, Babylon. , 

Lizzie was one for holding on. Even 
though the police (and half of London 
society) suspected that she had engi- 
neered the theft of the diamonds in or- 
der to avoid returning them to the Eu- 
stace family, she wasn't about to admit 
that they had never been stolen at all. 
Indeed, why should she? As the book 
was placed back up on the shelf day 
after day, Mr. Fox marveled at the 
strength of character of one so able to 
convince herself that what was in her 
Interest W3B i n the right. The next morn- 
ing there was a small crowd on the 
West Pier, waving Union Jacks and point- 
ing toward a smudge on the horizon. 
Mr. Fox was not surprised to see a fa- 
miliar face (and hairdo) among them. 

"Bermuda," said the African. Mr. Fox 
only nodded, not wanting to provoke 
the girl, whom' he suspected was wait- 
ing on the other side of the African, wait- 
ing to strike. Was it only his imagination, 
that the smudge on the horizon was 
pink? That night and the two nights fol- 
lowing, he watched the highlights of the 
Bermuda Passage on the telly over the 
bar. The island, which had barely 
been visible from Brighton, passed with- 
in a mile of Dover, and thousands 
turned out to see the colonial policemen 
in their red coats lined up atop the cor- 
al cliffs, saluting the Mother Country as 
she passed. Even where no crowds 
turned out, the low broads of Norfolk, 
the shaley cliffs of Yorkshire, the rocky 
headlands of Scotland's (former) North 
Sea coast, all received the same salute. 
The passage took nearly a week, and 
Mr. Fox thought it was quite a tribute to 
the Bermudans' stamina, as well as 
their patriotism. 

Over the next few days, the wind shift- 
ed and began to drop. Anthony was 
pleased, noticing only that the boys had 
to run harder to lift their kites, and 
seemed to need a dog yipping along 
beside them more than ever. But Mr. 
Fox knew that if the wind dropped 
much further, they would lose interest 
altogether. The Bermudans were satis- 
fied with their glimpse of the Mother 
Country, according to BBC; but the 
rest of the Commonwealth members 
were outraged as the United Kingdom 
turned sharply north after the Bermuda 
Passage, and headed north on a 
course that appeared to be carrying it 
toward the USA. Mr. Fox, meanwhile, 
was embroiled in a hardly unexpected 
but no less devastating crisis of a 

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more domestic nature: For Lizzie hac 
had her diamonds stolen— for real this 
time! She had been keeping them in a 
locked drawer in her room at the loath- 
some Mrs. Carbuncle's. If she report- 
ed the theft, she would be admitting 
that they hadn't been in the strongbox 
stolen in Scotland. Her only hope was 
that they. -and the thieves, were never 





The British and American papers were 
held up side by side on BBC. Naviga- 
tion experts were produced, with point- 
ers and maps, who estimated that on 
its current course, the south (now 
north) of England would nose into the 
crook of New York harbor, where Long 
Island meets New Jersey, so that 
Dover would be in sight of the New 
York City skyline. P yrnourh was expect- 
ed to end up off Montauk, and 
Brighton somewhere in the middle, 
where there were no place names on 
the satellite pictures. Harrison kept a 
map under the bar for settling bets, and 
when he pulled it out after Our Daily 
Log, Mr. Fox was sla-'med (but not sur- 
prised) to see that the area where 
Brighton was headed was dominated 
by a city whose name evoked images 
too lurid to visualize: 


On the day that Lizzie got her first vis- 
it from Scotland Yard, Mr. Fox saw a 
charter fishing boat holding steady off 
the shore, making about three knots. It 
was the Judy J out of Islip, and the 
rails were packed with people waving. 
Mr. Fox waved back, and waved Antho- 
ny's paw for him. An airplane flew low 
over the beach icw ng a sign. On the 
telly that night, Mr. Fox could see on the 
satellite picture that Brighton was al- 
ready in the lee of Long Island; Ihai was 
why the wind was dropping. The BBC 
showed clips from King Kong. "New 
York City is preparing to evacuate," 
said the announcer, "fearing that the 
shock of collision with ancient England 
will cause the fabled skyscrapers of Man- 
hattan to tumble." He seemed pleased 
by the prospect, as did the Canadian 
ssrthquake expert he interviewed, as, 
indeed, did Harrison. New York City of- 
ficials were gloomier; they feared the 
panic more than the actual collision. 
The next morning there were two 
boats off the shore, and in the after- 
noon, five. The waves, coming in at an 
angle, looked tentative after the bold 
swells of the mid-Atlantic. At tea, Liz- 
zie was visited for the second time by 
Scotland Yard. Something seemed to 
have gone out of her, some of her 


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fight, her spunk. Something in the air out- 
side the tea room was different too, but 
it wasn't until he and Anthony ap- 
proached the cricket ground that Mr. 
Fox realized what it was. It was the 
wind. It was gone altogether. The boys 
were strugg ho, to raise the same kites 
that had flown so eagerly only a few 
days before. As soon as they stopped 
running the kites came down. Anthony 
ran and barked wildly, as if calling on 
Heaven for assistance, but the boys 
went home before dark, disgusted. 

That night, Mr. Fox stepped outside 
the Pig & Thistle for a moment after sup- 
per. The street was as still as he had 
always imagined a graveyard might be. 
Had everyone left Brighton, or were 
they just staying indoors? According to 
Qli; Daily Log. the feared panic in New 
York City had failed to materialize. Vid- 
eo clips showed horrendous traffic 
jams, but they were apparently normal. 
The King was ... but just as the BBC 
was about to cut to Buckingham Pal- 
ace, the picture began to flicker and an 
American game show came oh. "Who 
were the Beatles," said a young wom- 
an standing in a sort of bright pulpit. It 
was a statement and not a question. 

"The telly has arrived before us," 
said Harrison, turning off the sound but 
leaving the picture. "Shall we coiobralc 
with a whisky? My treat tonight." 

Mr. Fox's room, left to him by Mr. 
Singh, the original owner of the Pig & 
Thistle, was on the top floor under a ga- 
ble. It was small; he and Anthony 
shacad a bed. That night they were avva*- 
ened by a mysterious, musical scrap- 
ing sound. "Woof," said Anthony, in his 
sleep. Mr. Fox listened with irepidation; 
he thought at first that someone, a 
thief certainly, was moving the piano out 
of the public room downstairs. Then he 
remembered that the piano had been 
sold twenty years before. There came 
a deeper rumble from far away — and 
then silence. A bell rang across town. 
A horn honked; a door slammed. Mr. 
Fox looked at the time on the branch 
bank across the street (he had posi- 
tioned his bed to save the cost of a 
clock): It was 4:36 a.m., Eastern Stan- 
dard Time. There were no more unusu- 
al sounds, and the bell stopped ring- 
ing. Anthony had already drifted back 
to sleep, but Mr. Fox lay awake, with his 
eyes open. The anxiety he had felt for 
the past several days (indeed; years) 
was mysteriously gone, and he was en- 
joying a pleasant feeling of anticipation 
that was entirely new to him. 

"Hold still," Mr. Fox told Anthony as he 

brushed him and snapped on his little 
tweed suit. The weather was getting colc- 
er. Was it his imagination, or was the 

light through the window over the break- 
fast table different as the Finn served 
him his boiled egg and toast and mar- 
malade and tea with milk? There was a 
fog, the first in weeks. The street out- 
side the inn was deserted, and as he 
crossed the King's Esplanade and 
climbed the twelve steps, Mr. Fox saw 
that the Boardwalk was almost empty, 
too. There were only two or three small 
groups, standing at the railing, staring 
at the J og as if at a blank screen. 

There were no waves, no wake; the 
water lapped at the sand with nervous, 
pointless motions like an old lady's fin- 
gers on a shawl. Mr. Fox took a place 
at the rail. Soon the fog began to lift; 
and emerging in the near distance, 
across a gray expanse of water, : : ke the 
image on the telly when it has first 
been turned on, Mr. Fox saw a wide, 
flat beach. Near the center was a ce- 
ment bathhouse, Knots of people 
stood on the sand, some of them by 
parked cars. One of them shot a gun 
into the air; another waved a striped 
flag. Mr. Fox waved Anthony's paw for 

America (and this could only be Amer- 
ica) didn't seem very developed. Mr, 
Fox had expected, if not skyscrapers, 
at least more buildings. A white lorry 
pulled up beside the bathhouse. A man 
in uniform got out, lit a cigarette, 
looked through binoculars. The lorry 
said GOYA on-the side. 

"Welcome to Long Island," said a 
familiar voice. It was the African. Mr. 
Fox nodded but didn't say anything. 
He could see the girl on the African's 
other side, looking through binoculars. 
He wondered if she and the GOYA 
man were watching each other. "If you 
expected skyscrapers, they're fifty 
miles west of here, in Dover," said the 


"Dover's west now, since England's 
upside down. That's why the sun rises 
over Upper Beeding." 

Mr. Fox nodded. Of course. He had 
never seen the sun rising, though he 
felt no need to say so. 

"Everyone's gone to Dover. You can 
see Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, 
the Empire State Building, all from 

Mr. Fox nodded. Reassured by the 
girl's silence so far, he asked in a whis- 
per, "So what place is this; where are 
we now?" 

"Jones Beach." 

"Not Babylon?" 

"You bloody wish," said the girl. 

Mr. Fox was exhausted. Lizzie was be- 
ing harried like the fox she herself had 
hunted with such bloodthirsty glee in 

Scotland. As Major Mackintosh closed 
in, she seemed to take a perverse pleas- 
ure in the hopelessness of her situation, ■ 
as if it bestowed on her a vulnerability 
she had never before possessed, a 
treasure more precious to her than the 
Eustace family diamonds. "Mr. Fox?" 
asked Ivlrs. Oldenshield. 

"Mr. Fox?" She was shaking his shoul- 
der. "Oh, I'm quite all right," he said. 
The book had fallen off his lap and she 
had caught him sleeping. Mrs. Olden- 
shield had a letter for him. (A letter for 
him!) It was from his niece, even 
though it was only the tenth of the 
month. There was nothing to do but 
open it. Mr, Fox began, as usual, at the 
ending, to make sure there were no sur- 
prises, but this time there were. "Until 
then," he read. As he scanned back 
through, he saw mention of "two ferries 
a day," and he couldn't read on. How 
had she gotten Mrs. Oldenshield's ad- 
dress? Did she expect him to come to 
America? He folded the letter and put 
it into his pocket. He couldn't read on. 

That evening BBC was back on the 
air. The lights of Manhattan could be 
seen on live video from atop the cliffs 
of Dover, shimmering in the distance 
through the rain (for England had 
brought rain). One-day passes were be- 
ing issued by both governments, and 
queues were already six blocks long. , 
The- East (now West) Kent Ferry from Fol- 
kestone to Coney Island was booked sol- 
id for the next three weeks. There was 
talk of service to Eastbourne and 
Brighton as well. The next morning af- 
ter breakfast, Mr. Fox lingered over his 
tea, examining a photograph of his 
niece which he had discovered in his 
letter box while putting her most recent 
(and most alarming) letter away. She 
was a serious-looking nine-year-old 
with a yellow ribbon in her light brown 
hair. Her mother, Mr. "Fox's sister, 
Clare, held an open raincoat around 
them both. All this was thirty years ago 
but already her hair was streaked with 
grey. The Finn cleared the plates, 
which was the' signal for Mr. Fox and 
Anthony to leave. There was quite a 
crowd on the Boardwalk, near the 
West Pier, watching the first ferry from 
America steaming across the narrow 
sound. Or was "steaming" the word? It 
was probably powered by some new 
type of engine. Immigration officers 
stood idly by, with their clipboards 
closed against the remnants of the fog 
(for England had brought fog). Mr. Fox 
was surprised to see Harrison at the 
end of the pier, wearing a windbreaker 
and carrying a paper bag that was 
greasy, as if it contained food. Mr. Fox 
had never seen Harrison in the day, nor 
outside, before; in fact, he hao novo' 

seen his legs. Harrison was wearing 
striped pants, and before Mr. Fox 
could speak to him, he sidled away 
Ke a crab into the crowd. There was a 
jolt as the ferry struck the pier, Mr. Fox 
stepped back just as Americans start- 
ed up the ramp like an invading army. 
In the front were teenagers, talking 
among themselves as if no one else 
could hear; older people" almost as 
loud, followed behind them. They 
seemed no worse than the Amerfcans 
who came to Brighton every summer, 
only not as well dressed. 

"Woof, woof!" 

Anthony was yipping over his shoul- 
der, and Mr. Fox turned and saw a lit- 
tle girl with light brown hair and a fa- 
miliar yellow ribbon. "Emily?" he said, 
recognizing his niece from the picture. 
Or so he thought. "Uncle Anthony?" The 
voice came from behind him again. He 
turned and saw a lady in a faded Burber- 
ry. The fog was blowing away and be- 
hind her he could see, for the first time 
that day, the drab American shore. 

"You haven't changed a bit," the wom- 
an said. At first Mr. Fox thought she was 
his sister, Clare, just as she had been 
thirty years before, when she had 
brought her daughter to Brighton to 
meet him. But of course Clare had 
been dead for twenty years; and the 
woman was Emily, who had then been 
almost ten, and was now almost forty; 
and the girl was her own child (tie greai- 
niece who had been growing up inex- 
orably) who was almost ten. Children, 
i" scorned, were almost always almost 

"'Uncle Anthony?" The child was hold- 
ing out her arms'. Mr. Fox was startled, 
thinking she was about' to hug him; 
then he saw what she wanted and hand- 
ed her the dog. "You can pet him," he 
said. "His name is Anthony, too." 


"Since no one ever calls us both at 
the same time, it creates no confusion," 
said Mr. Fox. 

"Can he walk?" 

"Gertainly he can walk. He just 
doesn't often choose to." 

A whistle blew and the ferry left with 
its load of Britons for America. Mr. Fox 
saw Harrison at the bow, holding his 
greasy bag with one hand and the rail 
with the other, looking a little sick, or per- 
haps apprehensive. Then he took his 
niece arid great-niece for a stroll along 
!he Boardwalk. The girl, Clare— she was 
named after her grandmother — 
walked ahead with Anthony, while Mr, 
Fox and his niece, Emily, followed be- 
hind. The other Americans had all drift- 
ed into the city looking for rests u ran is. 
except for the male teenagers, who 
were crowding into the amusement par- 





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lors along the Esplanade, which had 
opened (or the day. 

"If the mountain won't come to Ma- 
homet, and so forth," said Emily, mys- 
teriously, when Mr. Fox asked if she'd 
had a nice crossing. Her brown hair 
was streaked with grey. He recognized 
the coat now; it had been her mother's, 
his sister's, Clare's. He was trying to 
think of where to take them for lunch. 
The Finn at the Pig & Thistle served a 
pretty fair shepherd's pie, but he didn't 
want them to see where he lived. They 
were content, however, with fish and 
chips on the Boardwalk; certainly An- 
thony seemed pleased to have chips 
fed to him, one by one, by the little girl 
named for the sister Mr. Fox had met 
only twice: once when she had been a 
student at Cambridge (or was it Oxford? 
he got them confused) about to marry 
an American; and once when she had 
returned with her daughter for a visit. 

"Her father, your grandfather, was an 
Air Raid Warden," Mr. Fox told Emily. 
"He was killed in action, as it were, 
when a house collapsed during a res- 
cue; and when his wife (well, she 
wasn't exactly his wife) died giving 
birth to twins a week later, they were 
each taken in by one of those whose 
life he had saved. It was a boarding 
house, all single people, so there was 

no way to keep :ne Uvc together, you 
see— the children, I mean. Oh dear, I'm 
afraid I'm talking all in a. heap," 

"That's okay." said Emily. 

"At any rate, when Mr. Singh died 
and his Inn was sold, my room was re- 
served for me, in accordance with his 
will, in perpetuity, which means as 
long as I remain in it. -But if I were to 
move, you see, I would lose my patri- 
mony entire." 

"I see," said Emily, "And where is 
this place you go for tea?" 

And so they spent the afternoon, and 
a rainy and an English afternoon it was, 
in the cozy tea room with the faded pur- 
ple drapes at the west (formerly east) 
end of Moncton Street where Mrs. Old- 
enshield kept Mr. Fox's complete set of 
Trollope on a high shelf, so he 
wouldn't have to carry them back and 
forth in all kinds of weather. While 
Clare shared her cake with Anthony, 
and then let him doze on her lap, Mr. 
Fox took down the handsome leather- 
bound volumes, one by one, and 
showed them lo his niece and great- 
niece. "They are, I. believe, the first com- 
plete edition," he said. "Chapman and 

"And were they your father's?" 
asked Emily. "My grandfather's?" 

"Oh no!" said Mr. Fox. "They be- 

longed to Mr. Singh. His gran tin other 
was English and her own great-uncle 
had been, I believe, in the postal ser- 
vice in Ireland with the author, for 
whom I was, if I am not mistaken, 
named." He showed Emily the place in 
The Eustace Diamonds where he 
would have' been reading that very 
afternoon, "were if not," he said, "for 
this rather surprisingly delightful family 

"Mother, is he blushing," said Clare. 
It was a statement and not a question. 

It was almost six when Emily looked 
at her watch — a. man's watch, Mr. Fox 
noted — and said, "We had better g® 
back to the pier, or we'll miss the fer- 
ry." The rain had diminished to a misty 
drizzle as they hurried along the Boa: 6- 
walk. "I must apologize for our English 
weather," said Mr. Fox, but his niece 
stopped him with a hand on his 
sleeve. "Don't brag," she said, smiling. 
She saw Mr. Fox looking at her big 
steel watch and explained that it had 
been found among her mother's 
things; she had always assumed it had 
been her grandfather's. Indeed,"it had 
several dials, and across the face it 
said; "Civil Defense, Brighton." Across 
the bay, through the drizzle as through 
a lace curtain, they could see the sun 
shining on the sand and parked cars. 

"Do you still live in, you know . . ." 
Mr, Fox hardly knew how to say the 
name of the place without sounding vul- 
gar, but his niece came to his rescue. 
"Babylon? Only for another month. 
We're moving to Deer Park as soon as 
my divorce is final." 

"I'm so glad," said Mr. Fox. "Deer 
Park sounds much nicer for the child." 

"Can I buy Anthony a goodbye pre- 
sent?" Clare asked. Mr. Fox gave her 
some English money (even though the 
shops were all taking American) and 
she bought a paper of chips and fed 
them to the dog one by one. Mr. Fox 
knew Anthony would be flatulent for 
days, but it seemed hardly the sort of 
thing one mentioned. The ferry had 
pulled in and the tourists who had vis- 
ited America for the day were stream- 
ing off, loaded with cheap gifts. Mr. Fox 
looked for Harrison, but if he was 
among them, he missed him. The whis- 
tle blew two warning toots. "It was kind 
of you to come," he said. 

Emily smiled. "No big deal," she 
said, "it was mostly your doing anyway. 
I could never have made it all the way 
to England if England hadn't come 
here first. I don't fly." 

"Nor do I." Mr. Fox held out his 
hand but Emily gave him a hug, and 
then a kiss, and insisted that Clare 
give him both as well, When that was 
over, she pulled off the watch (it was 

fitted with an expandable band) and 
slipped it over his thin, stick-like wrist. 
"it has a compass built in," she said.' 
"I'm sure it was your father's. And Moth- 
er always ..." 

The final boarding whistle swallowed 
her last words. "You can be certain I'll 
take good care of it," Mr. Fox called out, 
He couldn't think of anything else to 
say. "Mother, is he crying," said Clare. 
It was a statement and not a question. 
"Let's you and me watch our steps," 
said Emily. 

"Woof," said Anthony, and mother 
and daughter ran down (for the pier 
was high, and the boat was low) the 
gangplank. Mr. Fox waved until the fer- 
ry had backed out and turned, and 
everyone on board had gone inside, out 
of the rain, for it had started to rain in 
earnest. That night after dinner he was 
disappointed to find the bar unattend- 
ed. "Anyone seen Harrison?" he 
asked. He had been looking forward to 
showing him the watch. 

"I can get you a drink as well as him/' 
said the Finn. She carried her broom 
with her and leaned it against the bar. 
She poured a whisky ar:cr said, "Just in- 
dicate if you need another." She 
thought indicate meant ask. The King 
was on the telly, getting into a long car 
with the President. Armed men stood all 
around them. Mr. Fox went to bed. 

The next morning, Mr. Fox got up be- 
fore Anthony. The family visit had been 
pleasant — indeed, wonderful— but he 
felt a need to get back to normal. 
While taking his constitutional, he 
watched the first ferry come in, hoping 
(somewhat to his surprise) that he 
might see Harrison in it; but no such 
luck. There were no English, and few 
Americans. The fog rolled in and out, 
like the same page on a book being 
turned over and over, At tea, Mr. Fox 
■ found Lizzie confessing (just as he had 
known she someday must) that the jew- 
els had been in her possession all 
along. Now that they were truly gone, 
everyone seemed relieved, even the Eu- 
stace family lawyer. It seemed a better 
world without the diamonds. 

"Did you hear that?" 

"Beg your pardon?" Mr. Fox looked 
up from his book. Mrs. Oldenshield point- 
ed at his teacup, which was rattling in 
its saucer. Outside, in the distance, a 
bell was ringing. Mr. Fox wiped off the 
book himself and put it on the high 
shelf, then pulled on his coat, picked 
up his dog, and ducked through the low 
door into the street. Somewhere across 
town, a horn was honking. "Woof," 
said Anthony. There was a breeze for 
the first time in days, Knowing, or at 
least suspecting what he would find, 
Mr, Fox hurried to the Boardwalk. The 

waves on the beach were flattened, as 
if the water were being sucked away 
from the shore, The ferry was just pull- 
ing out with the last of the Americans 
who had come to spend the day. They 
ookec irritated. On the way back to the 
Pig & Thistle Mr. Fox stopped by the 
cricket ground, but the boys were no- 
where to be seen, the breeze being 
still too light for kiting, he supposed. "Per- 
haps tomorrow," he said to Anthony. 
The dog was silent, lacking the capac- 
ity for looking ahead. 

That evening, Mr. Fox had his whisky 
alone again. He had hoped that Harri- 
son might have shown up, but there 
was no one behind the bar but the 
Finn and her broom. King Charles 
came on the telly, breathless, having 
just landed in a helicopter direct from 
the Autumn White House. He promised 
to send for anyone who had been left 
behind, then commanded (or rather, 
urged) his subjects to secure the king- 
dom for the Atlantic. England was un- 
derway again. The next morning the 
breeze was brisk. When Mr. Fox and An- 
thony arrived at the Boardwalk, he check- 
ed the compass on his watch and saw 
that England had turned during the 
night, and Brighton had assumed its 
proper position, ai the bow. A stout head- 
wind was blowing and the sea wall was 
washed by a steady two-foot curl. 
Long Island was a low, dark blur to the 
north, far off the port (or left). 

"Nice chop." 

"Beg pardon?" Mr. Fox turned and 
was glad to see a big man in a tweed 
coat, standing at the rail. He realized 
he had feared the African might have 
jumped ship like Harrison. 

"Looks like we're making our four 
knots and more, this time." 

Mr. Fox nodded. He didn't want to 
seem rude, but he knew if he said any- 
thing the girl would chime in. It was a 

"Trade winds," said the African. His 
collar was turned up, and his dread- 
locks spilled over and around it like 
vines, "We'll make better time going 
back. If indeed we're going back. I say, 
is thai a new watch?" 

"Civil Defense chronometer," Mr. Fox 
said. "Has a compass built in. My fa- 
ther left it to me when he died." 

"You bloody wish," said the girl. 

"Should prove useful," said the 

"I should think so," said Mr, Fox, smil- 
ing into the fresh salt wind; then, salut- 
ing the African (and the girl), he tuck- 
ed Anthony under his arm and left the 
Boardwalk in their command. England 
was steady, heading south by south 
east, and it was twenty past four, almost 
time for tea. DO 


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so there were several in the puebla. 
When we arrived, we were invited to 
climb the sleep and muddy riverbank 
to the puebla. There, Pablo's main 
wife, Ma Shu, served us a meal of cold 
roast sloth and yucca. 

After dinner, Pablo produced an old 
brown beer bottle and a hollow reed 
tube. From the bottle he poured a fine 
green powder into his hand and 
worked it into one end of the tube, Al- 
berto put the other end of the tube to 
his nose and Pablo blew the powder in- 
to his nostrils. They repeated the proc- 
ess several times. Moises explained 
that the powder was nu-nu and that 
Matses hunters used it to have visions 
of where to hunt. He said that after the 
visions they would go to the place 
they'd seen and wait for the animals in 
the vision to appear. I told Moises he 
was dreaming, but he insisted that was 
what happened and pressed Pablo to 
give me some. A few minutes later, the 
tube was put to my nose. 

When the nu-nu hit, it seemed to ex- 
plode inside my face. It burnt my nose 
and I began to choke up a wretched 
green phlegm. But the pain quickly sub- 
sided and I closed my eyes. Out of the 
blackness I began to have visions of an- 
imals — tapir, monkey, wild boar — that I 
saw more clearly than my limited expe- 
rience with them should have allowed. 
Then suddenly the boars stampeded in 
front of me. As I watched them thunder 
past my field of vision, several began 
to fall. Moments later, the visions fad- 
ed, and a pleasant sort of drunkenness 
washed over me. 

Moises asked what I saw and wheth- 
er I recognized the place where the vi- 
sion happened. I told him it looked like 
the place where we'd eaten lunch ear- 
lier in the day. He asked what time it 
was in the vision, and I told him that the 
sun was shining but mist still hung 
from the trees. He put the time between 
7 and 8 a.m. Despite my suspicion 
that I'd invented the entire vision, Mois- 
es told the Matses what I'd seen. 

At dawn the next morning, several of 
us piled into our boat and headed to- 
ward the spot I'd described. As we 
neared it, I was astounded to hear the 
thunderous roar of dozens of boars 
charging across the river in front of us. 
We jumped out of the boat and 
chased them. Several ran into a hollow 
log,. and Pablo and Alberto blocked the 
ends with thick branches while the oth- 
ers made nooses out of vines. Holes 
were cut into the top of the log with a 
machete, the nooses slipped through 

86 OMNI 

them, and 'he boars si'anglod. We re- 
turned with seven boars, enough meat 
for the entire village for four days. 

Improbable as it seemed, the scene 
was close enough to what I'd described 
that there was no denying the veracity 
of the vision. I later asked how nu-nu 
worked, and Pablo explained — in a mix 
of hand signals, Matses, and pidgin 
Spanish — that nu-nu put you in touch 
with the animals. He said the animals' 
spirits also see the visions and know 
what awaits them. 

The morning after the hunt, I was 
with Pablo, sitting on the bark floor of 
Ma Shu's hut. pointing to things and ask- 
ing what the Matses words for them 
were. I made notes, writing down the 
phonetic spelling of things like bow, ar- 
row, spear, and hammock. Pablo was 
utterly bored with the exercise until I 
pointed to a small leaf bag that hung 
over a cooking fire. "Sapo," he said, his 

4A little smaller 
than the palm of my hand, 
the frog had an 
extraordinary electric- 
green back, a 
lightly spotted white 
and deep black eyes. 9 

eyes brightening. 

From the bag he pulled a piece of 
split bamboo, roughly the size and 
shape of a doctor's tongue depressor. 
It was covered with what-looked like a 
thick coat of aging varnish, "Sapo," he 
repeated, scraping a little of the mate- 
rial from the stick and mixing it with sa- 
liva. When he was finished, it had the 
consistency and color of green mus- 
tard. Then he pulled a smolder. ng twig 
from the fire, grabbed my left wrist, and 
burned the inside of my forearm. I 
pulled away, but he held my wrist tight- 
ly. The burn mark was about the size 
of a match head. I looked at Moises, 
"Una nueva medicina," he said, shak- 
ing his head, "I've never seen it." 

Remembering the extraordinary ex- 
perience I'd had wiih nu-nu, I let Pablo 
burn my arm a second time. He 
scraped- away the burned skin, then 
dabbed a little of the sapo onto the ex- 
posed areas. Instantly my body began 
to heat up. In seconds I was burning 
from the inside and regretted allowing 
him to give me a medicine I knew noth- 

ing about. I began to sweat. My blood 
began to race. My heart pounded. I be- 
came acutely aware of every vein and 
artery in my body and could feel them 
opening :o allow for the fantastic pulse 
of my blood. My stomach cramped and 
I vomited violently. I lost control of my 
bodily functions and began to urinate 
and defecate. I fell to the ground. 
Then, unexpectedly, I found myself 
growling and moving about on all 
fours. I felt as though animals were pass- 
ing through me, trying to express them- 
selves through my body. It was a fan- 
tastic feeling but it passed quickly, and 
I could think of nothing but the rushing 
of my blood, a sensation so intense 
that I thought my heart would burst. The 
rushing got faster and faster. I was in 
agony. I gasped for breath. Slowly, ins 
pounding became steady and rhythmic, 
and when it finally subsided altogeth- 
er, I was overcome with exhaustion. I 
slept where I was. 

When I awoke a few hours later, I 
heard voices. But as I came to my sens- 
es, I realized 1 was alone, I looked 
around and saw that I had" been 
washed off and put into my hammock. 
I stood and walked to the edge of the 
hut's unwalled platform floor and real- 
ized that the conversation I was over- 
hearing was between two of Pablo's 
wives who were standing nearly 20 
yards away. I didn't understand their di- 
alect, of course, but I was surprised to 
even hear them from that distance. I 
walked to the other side of the platform 
and looked out into the jungle; its nois- 
es, too, were clearer than usual. 

And it wasn't just my hearing that had 
been improved. My vision, my sense of 
smell, everything about me felt larger 
than life, and my body felt immensely 
strong. That evening I explained what 
I was feeling with hand gestures as 
much as language. Pablo smiled. "Bi- 
ram-bo sapo," he said, "fuerte," It was 
good sapo. Strong. 

During the next few days, my feeling 
of strength didn't diminish; I could go 
whole days without being hungry or 
thirsty and move through the jungle for 
hours without tiring. Every sense I pos- 
sessed was heightened and in tune 
with the environment, as though the 
sapo put the rhythm of the jungle into 
my blood. 

I asked Pablo about sapo's uses and 
discovered there were several. Among 
hunters, it was used both to sharpen the 
senses and as a way to increase stam- 
ina during long hunts when carrying 
food and water was difficult. In large dos- 
es, it could make a Maises hunter "in- 
visible" to poor-sighted but acute-smell- 
ing jungle animals by temporarily elim- 
inating their human odor. As a medi- 

cine, sapo also had multiple uses, serv- 
ing as a tonic to cleans9 and strengthen 
the body and as a toxin purge for' 
those with the grippe. 

The women explained that they some 
times used sapo as well. In sparing dos- 
es applied to the inside of the wrist it 
could establish whether a woman was 
pregnant or not. And during the later 
Stages of pregnancy, it was used to es- 
tablish the sex and health oi a fetus. In- 
terpreting the information relied on an 
investigation of the urine a woman dis- 
charged following the application of the 
medicine: Cloudiness or other discolo- 
ration of the urine and the presence or 
absence of specks of blood were ail ev- 
idently indicators of the fetus's condi- 
tion. In cases where an unhealthy fetus 
was discovered, a large dose of sapo 
applied to the vaginal area was used 
as an abortive. There was no way for 
me to verify what they said, though 
there was no reason to doubt them. 

When I asked Pablo how the Matses 
learned about sapo, he said the dow- 
kiet! told them. Whether he meant the 
frog told them through their study of its 
behavior and habits or whether he be- 
lieved he was in communication with it 
on some level, I don't know. 

When I returned to New York, I was 
surprised to find that my description of 
nu-nuwas old hat to the anthropologists 
I spoke with at the American Museum 
of Natural History — several tribes evident- 
ly employed similar snuffs for shaman- 
ic purposes. What did surprise them, 
however, was my account of sapo. 
None of them had ever heard of it, and 
while several South American tribes 
have hunting myths about frogs, there 
were no records of the Matses or any 
other tribe utilizing a frog's secretions 
in the way I described. But while my re- 
port was considered interesting, it was 
also inadequate, as I had no photo- 
graphs of the frog and no samples of 
the medicine. 

The following year I returned to 
Pablo's village and discovered that 
sapo was also used as a shamanic 
tool. It was spring and the lowlands 
were flooded. Game had retreated 
deep into the forest to seasonal la- 
goons, so hunting was difficult, and 
even nu-nu failed to produce hunting vi- 
sions, When I arrived, the Matses 
hadn't eaten meat for several days. 

Pablo explained that when the river 
was so high, it was trapping season 
and that he was about to set a tem-po- 
te!, a tapir trap. He had been giving him- 
self five sapo burns each morning and 
night for three days in preparation for 
the task and would continue until the 
trap was successful. Pablo explained, 
as well as I could understand it, that 

sapo, used in such large doses, al- 
lowed a hunter to project his animas — 
his spirit — to his trap while he slept. The 
animas would take the form of a tapir 
and lure real tapir to it. 

The day after we arrived, Moisos arc 
I went into the jungle with Pablo and Al- 
berto. We walked for almost two hours 
before Pablo found a suitable site and 
began to construct the trap, a simple 
spring device set between two trees. 
Pablo called to the tapir while he 
worked, telling it what a special path he 
was making. He called to the other an- 
imals as well, warning them to stay 
away, to leave this place for his friend. 
When he finished the trap, he chewed 
handfuls of leaves and spit them out 
across the trip vine, both to cover his 
human scent and as a signpost so that 
his animas could find it at night. 

As we were returning to the puebla, 
Alberto explained that traps were only 
set when there was no other way to get 
meat, because, once a trap was set. no 
other animals could be hunted. When 
I asked why, he explained that animals 
talk to each other and that killing them 
provokes their spirits, ruining the trap. 
Seeing that I didn't understand, Pablo 
added that when he sent out his ani- 
mas masquerading as a tapir, the pro- 
voked spirits would warn the prey that 
what they saw was not a real tapir but 
a Matses' animas in disguise. Excep- 
tions to the taboo were large river tur- 
tles and sloth — the turtle because it 
doesn't bother to talk to other animals 
and the sloth because it speaks so slow- 
ly that by the time it says what's on its 
mind, the river has fallen and trapping 
time is over, 

During the next two da^s, Pablo nev- 
er returned to the trap, although he con- 
tinued using massive doses of sapo. 
But on the morning of the third day, he 
awakened us before dawn and said he 
had a nu-nu vision that the trap was 
about to be sprung. He was insistent 
that we hurry. 

The Matses moved through the for- 
est effortlessly, almost at a jog, and the 
women chided me for having to strug- 
gle to keep up. But as we neared the 
trap area, everyone stopped and grew 
absolutely quiet. Pablo's eyes blazed. 
"Petro," he whispered to me excitedly, 
"tian-te, tem-po-te! '." A tapir was about 
to be trapped. 

We waited about ten minutes, then 
heard a sharp snap, followed by an ag- 
onizing animal scream, Suddenly, 
everyone began running toward the 
trap. The wounded and disoriented ta- 
pir crashed through the brush, bellow- 
ing in pain, then fell into a stream bed. 
The women caught up with it, killed it, 
and began to cut it up, While they did, 

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Pablo brought me to the sprung trap 
and gave me the bloody spike. 

Back in camp we feasted. After- 
wards, I asked Pablo for a sample of 
sapo, but he'd been using so much to 
prepare for the hunt that he had none 
to give me. So once again I returned to 
the states with no hard evidence of the 
existence of the dow-kiet!. 

It look two more trips to Peru before 
I finally managed to secure a small 
amount of sapo, and when I finally did, 
I gave half of the stick to Charles 
Myers, the curator of the museum's Her- 
petology Department, who passed it on 
to John Daly at the National Institutes 
of Health. Having finally produced the 
material I'd frequently talked about, my 
reports began to circulate and prompt- 
ed a letter from Vitiorio Erspamer, a phar- 
macologist who worked with the Fidia 
Research Institute for the Neuroscienc- 
es. He wondered whether sapo might 
not come from one of a number of 
frogs he'd randomly collected in Ama- 
zonia several years earlier. Research 
done on the chemicals found in their 
skin had shown that several produced 
peptides — proteins — that were similar 
to peptides produced by humans. If it 
could be shown, he wrote, that one ot 
those frogs was already in use by hu- 
mans, it would be an important scien- 
tific breakthrough. 1 wrote back and of- 
fered to provide him with a specimen if 
I ever managed to collect one. 

A year after Erspamer's letter 
reached me, I traveled back to the Lo- 
bo with Moises. We hiked across the jun- 
gle to Pablo's, discovered his burned 
camp, and moved down the river 
where happily we found him at San 
Juan. "Malo casadores," Moises 
snarled, after we'd been watching the 
men of San Juan trying to find a dow- 
kiet! for nearly an hour. "Bad hunters. 
Everything is changed with them. 
They're finished." He was still grumbling 
about the state ot the Matses when I 
heard Pablo calling me. "Petro! Dow- 
kiet! Petro?" He was standing on a hill 
at the back of the puebla with Pa Mi 
Shua and two of his children. "Bi-ram- 
bo, Pablo!" I laughed. "Bi-ram-bo dow- 
kiet!" Yes, I would like a dow-kiet!. 

Pablo laughed and began to bark 
out the frog's mating call. The other 
men in the camp stopped their hunting 
and watched him. Between the guttur- 
al barking noises he was making we 
could hear him berating the frogs for 
making the hunt so difficult. Pa Mi 
Shua and his children, walking along- 
side him on the path toward the center 
of camp, roared at his antics. 

Suddenly Pablo stood and stiffened. 
From the grasses on the side of the 
path came the same sound Pablo was 

making. He barked again, and again 
his call was returned. Then a second 
frog pined the first, and a third, and sud- 
denly the whole camp seemed to re- 
sound with the barking of dow-kie!!s. 
Pablo bent down and picked one up. 
"Mas dow-kiet!, Petro?" More, Peter? I 
laughed and said yes. He bent down 
and picked up another. "Mas? Bastaq- 
te sapo, Petro?" More ? Did I want a lot 
of sapo? 

I told him two were enough, and he 
came into the camp, a frog in each 
hand. He gave one of them to me. It 
was beautiful. A little smaller than my 
palm, it had an extraordinary electric- 
green back, a lightly spotted white un- 
derside, and deep black eyes. It 
grasped my fingers tightly, and in sec- 
onds I could feel my blood begin to 
heat up as the sapo it was secreting be- 
gan to seep into the small cuts that cov- 
ered my hands. I quickly put it down. 

♦I could go 

days without being hungry or 

thirsty. Every 

sense I possessed was 


as though sapo put the 

rhythm of 

the jungle into my blood.? 

Pablo giggled with delight, then broke 
a small branch from a tree and placed 
both dow-klet!s on it, hilariously imitat- 
ing my reaction. 

One of the Matses men collected 
four sticks and stood them in the 
ground, making a small square. Anoth- 
er pulled apart some palm leaves, 
stripped out the fibers and rolled them 
into strings against his leg. He handed 
four of them to Pablo, who tied one to 
each of one frog's legs, then tied the 
free ends to the four posts, suspend- 
ing the animal like some strange green 
trampoline. Once the frog was secure, 
Pa Mi Shua knelt and gently began to 
manipulate the frog's elongated center 
toe between her fingers, stimulating it 
to secrete sapo. It was an unexpected- 
ly sexual image, and the men joked 
about it. Pa Mi Shua blushed and told 
them to be quiet. 

The man who had placed the sticks 
in the ground disappeared into his hut 
for a moment, then returned with a 
piece of split bamboo. He began to 
scrape the suspended frog's sides and 

legs, collecting sapo. When the stick 
was covered, he dried out the secre- 
tions over our tiny kerosene lamp and 
then gave the stick to me. 

That night, both frogs were tied by 
one leg to a low tree branch to keep 
them from escaping, and in the. morn- 
ing, the sapo from the second frog was 
collected. Neither was hurt by the proc- 
ess, and if I hadn't been taking the two 
specimens back to the States, they 
would have been set free. 

One of the frogs died shortly after I 
returned home, and I gave its skeleton 
along with part of the sapo sample and 
some photographs to the Natural His- 
tory museum. The healthy dow-kiet! 
along with a second sapo sample and 
similar photos was sent to Erspamer in 
Rome, Six months later, 1 received his 
report. He was very excited. 

He identified the dow-kiet! as a phyl- 
iomedusa bicolor, a rare arboreal tree 
frog. The sapo, he said, is a sort of fan- 
tastic chemical cocktail with potential 
medical applications. "No other amphib- 
ian skin can. compete with it," he 
wrote. "Up to seven percent of sapo's 
weight is in potently active peptides, eas- 
ily absorbed through burned, inflamed 
areas of the skin." He explained that 
among the several dozen peptides 
found in sapo, seven were bioactive — 
which meant that each has an affinity 
and selectivity for binding with recep- 
tor sites in humans. (A receptor is like 
a lock that when opened with the right 
key — the bioactive peptides — triggers 
chemical reactions in the body.) The 
peptide families represented in the dow- 
kiet! include bradykinins, tachykinins, 
caerulein, sauvagine, tryptophyllins, der- 
morphins, and bombesins. 

Based on the concentrations and func- 
tions of the peptides found in and ex- 
tracted from the sapo sample I sent, Er- 
spamer was able to account for all of 
the physical symptoms I described as 
sapo intoxication. On the peripheral ef- 
fects, Erspamer reported, "Caerulein 
and the equiactive phyllocaerulein dis- 
play a potent action on the gastrointes- 
tinal smooth muscle and gastric and pan- 
creatic secretions. . . . Side effects ob- 
served (in volunteer patients with post- 
operative intestinal atony) were nausea, 
vomiting, facial flush, mild tachycardia 
(heart palpitations), changes in blood 
pressure, sweating, abdominal discom- 
fort, and urge for defecation." 

Phyllomedusin, a new peptide of the 
tachykinin family, strongly affects the sal- 
ivary glands, tear ducts, intestines, and 
bowels, and contributed to the violent 
purging I experienced. Sauvagine 
causes a long-lasting fall in blood pres- 
sure, accompanied by severe tachycar- 
dia and stimulation of the adrenal cor- 





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tex, which contributed to the satiety, 
heightened sensory perception, and in- 
creased stamina I described. Phylloki- 
nin, a new peptide of the bradykinin fam- 
ily, is a potent blood-vessel dilator and 
accounted for the intense rushing in my 
blood during the initial phase of sapo 

"It may be reasonably concluded," 
Erspamer wrote, "that the intense, pe- 
ripheral cardiovascular and gastrointes- 
tinal symptoms observed in the early 
phase of sapo intoxication may be en- 
tirely ascribed to the known bioactive 
peptides occurring in large amounts in 
the frog material." 

As to sapo's central effects, he 
wrote, "Increase in physical strength, en- 
hanced resistance to hunger and 
thirst, and more generally, increase in 
the capacity to face stress situations 
may be explained by the presence of 
caerulein and sauvagine in the drug." 
Caerulein in humans produces "an an- 
algesic effect . . . possibly related to re- 
lease of beta-endorphins ... in pa- 
tients suffering from renal colic, rest 
pain due to peripheral vascular insuffi- 
ciency (limited circulation), and even 
cancer pain." Additionally, "it caused 
in human volunteers a significant reduc- 
tion in hunger and food intake." 

The sauvagine extracted from sapo 
was given subcutaneously to rats and 
caused "release of corticotropin (a 
hormone that triggers the release of sub- 
stances from the adrenal gland) from 
the pituitary, with consequent activation 
of the pituitary-adrenal axis." This axis 
is the chemical communication link be- 
tween the pituitary and the adrenal 
glands, which controls our flight.-or- 
fight mechanism. The effects on the pi- 
tuitary-adrenal axis caused by the min- 
imal doses given the laboratory rodents 
lasted several hours. Erspamer noted 
that the volume of sauvagine found in 
the large quantities of sapo I described 
the Matses using would potentially 
have a much longer lasting effect on hu- 
mans and would explain why my feel- 
ings of strength and heightened senso- 
ry perception after sapo use lasted for 
several days. 

But on the question of the "magical" 
effects I described in tapir trapping, Er- 
spamer says that "no hallucinations, vi- 
sions, or 'magic' effects are produced 
by the known peptide components of 
sapo." He added that "the question re- 
mains unsolved" whether those effects — 
specifically, the feeling that animals 
were passing through me and Pablo's 
description of animas projection — 
were due to "the sniffing of other 
drugs haying hallucinogenic effects," 
particularly nu-nu. 
With regard to sapo's uses relating 

to pregnancy, Erspamer did not ad- 
dress any of the issues but abortion: 
"Abortion ascribed to sapo may be due 
either to direct effect of the peptide cock- 
tail on the uterine smooth muscle or, 
more likely, to the intense pelvic vaso- 
dilation and the general'violent physi- 
cal reaction to the drug." 

From the medical-potential point of 
view, Erspamer said several aspects of 
sapo are of interest. He suggested 
that two of its peptides, phyllomedusin 
and phyllokinin have such a pro- 
nounced affect on the dilation of blood 
vessels that they "may increase the per- 
meability of the blood-brain barrier, 
thus facilitating access to the brain not 
only of themselves, but also of the oth- 
er active peptides." Finding a key to un- 
locking the secret of passing that bar- 
rier is vital to the discovery of how to 
get medicines to the brain and could 
one day contribute to the development 
of treatments for AIDS, Alzheimer's, and 
other disorders that threaten the brain, 

There is also medicinal, potential in 
dermorphin and deltorphin, two other 
peptides found in sapo. Both are po- 
tent opioid peptides, almost identical to 
the beta-endorphins the human body 
produces to counter pain, and similar 
to the opiates found in morphine. Be- 
cause they mirror beta-endorphins, how- 
ever, sapo's opioid peptides could po- 
tentially function in a more precise man- 
ner than opiates. Additionally, while 
dermorphin and deltorphin are consid- 
erably stronger than morphine (18 and 
39 times, respectively), because of 
their similarities to the naturally pro- 
duced beta-endorphin, the develop- 
ment of tolerance would be considera- 
bly lower and withdrawal less severe 
than to opiates. 

Both phyllocaerulein and sauvagine 
possess medical potential as digestive 
aids to assist those receiving treatment 
for cancer. Other areas of potential med- 
ical interest in the peptides found in 
sapo include their possible use as an- 
tiinflammatories, as blood-pressure reg- 
ulators, and as stimulators of the pitui- 
tary gland. 

The only report thus far on sapo 
from John Daly's team at the National 
Institutes of Health (written with seven 
coauthors, including Katharine Milton, 
who recently discovered the use of the 
phyllornedusa bicolor among several 
tribes closely related to the Matses) was 
recently published in the Proceedings 
of the National Academy of Sciences 
(November 14, 1992) and concentrates 
exclusively on a newly discovered pep- 
tide found in sapo. One of the chemi- 
cal fractions Daly's team isolated is a 
33-amino-acid-long peptide he calls 
adenoregulin, which may provide a key 

to manipulating cellular receptors for 
adenosine, a fundamental component 
in all human cell fuel. "Peptides that er- 
ther enhance or inhibit binding of aden- 
osine analogs to brain adenosine re- 
ceptors proved to be present in extracts 
of the dried skin secretion," Daly 
wrote. According to an interpretive re- 
port on the Daly paper written by Ivan 
Amato and published in Science (No- 
vember 20, 1992), "Preliminary animal 
studies by researchers at Warner-Lam- 
bert have hinted that those receptors, 
which are distributed throughout the 
brains of mammals, could offer a tar- 
get for treating depression, stroke, sei- 
zures, and cognitive loss in ailments 
such as Alzheimer's disease." 

Of course, medical potential only in- 
frequently results directly in new medi- 
cines. Science may not be able to iso- 
late or duplicate the peptides found in 
sapo, or side effects may be discov- 
ered that would decrease their value as 
medicines, But even if sapo's compo- 
nents do not eventually serve as proto- 
types for new drugs, sapo will become 
an important pharmacological tool in 
the study of receptors and the chemi- 
cal reactions they trigger. Certainly the 
study of the unique activity of sapo's bi- 
oactive peptides will advance our knowl- 
edge of the human body. Additionally, 
as possibly the first zoologically derived' 
medicine used by tribals ever investi- 
gated for Western medical potential, 
sapo will help open the door to a 
whole new field of investigation. 

Unfortunately, while science catches 
up to the natural medicines of tribal peo- 
ples, time is running out. That Pablo 
was the. only man at San Juan still able 
to draw a response from the dow-kiet! 
is an indication that most Matses no long- 
er rely on it. And we have no way of 
knowing how many other medicines the 
Matses— and others— once used but 
have abandoned, which might also 
have been valuable to us. 

We do know that nearly 80 percent 
of the world's population relies on natu- 
ral medicines for its primary health 
care. Investigations into a small portion 
of them have already provided us with 
hundreds of drugs, from aspirin and 
atropine to digitalis and quinine. Fully 
70 percent of the antitumor drugs 
used in the treatment of cancers are de- 
rived from traditional medicines as 
well. Yet our investigations have hardly 
begun. Obviously, there is much to 
learn from peoples like the Matses be- 
fore acculturation strips them of their 
knowledge. It remains to be seen wheth- 
er the discoveries that have begun to 
be made in connection with sapo 
spark the interest of investigators — ' 
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said, "Send us a geneticist." The 
AAAS got in touch with Luca Cavalli 
and asked him, "Is it possible to prove 
a child's relatedness to its grandpar- 
ents?" Luca did the statistics and said, 
"This is a perfectly reasonable hypoth- 
esis." Specific genetic markers — such 
as human leukocyte antigens (HLA) 
and variations in DNA sequences — 
enable grandpaternity to be proven 
with a high degree of certainty. In real- 
ity, though, you have to genetically 
type all the people involved. The only 
way to do that is to go to Argentina. "I 
don't have the energy to get involved 
with Spanish-speaking grandmothers 
my own age," he said, "but I know just 
the person." So they asked me, and of 
course I said yes. 

Omni: So you went to Argentina in 
June 1984? 

King: Yes, with forensics experts 
whose job was to help identify remains 
so cases against the murderers could 
be brought to court. They ultimately 
trained a remarkable group of Argentine- 
an forensic anthropologists who were 
then just kids in college. I worked with 
grandmothers trying to identify living chil- 
dren and reunite them with their rela- 
tives. We found a lab in Buenos Aires 
that 'could do HLA typing. 

The method works like this: Blood 
samples are taken from people who 
might be related. Their cells are tested 
for matching HLA combinations. Thou- 
sands of individual combinations exist 
in any one population. HLA proteins dis- 
tinguish "self" from "other," making 
them important for matching organ- 
transplant recipients— and matching 
grandparents and lost children. 

The HLA test we developed was 
first used in the case of an eight-year- 
old girl, Paula Eva Logares, who was 
living with a former police chief and his 
Uruguayan girlfriend. They claimed in 
court that Paula was their biological 
daughter. The grandmothers said they 
were lying, that she was kidnapped 
from her parents when she was 23 
months old and the parents never 
seen again. We proved with 99.9-per- 
cent certainty, on the basis of HLA test- 
ing and blood groups, that Paula was 
a descendent of the three living grand- 
parents who claimed her. When she 
went back to her grandparents' house, 
which she hadn't seen since she was 
two, she walked straight to the room 
//here she'd slept as a baby and 
asked for her doll. 

Our first cases were relatively easy, 
because we either had all four grand- 

parents still alive or could reconsfucl 
their genotypes from their surviving chil- 
dren. We got very good at this, and 
things happened. Many more families 
came forward. The Argentinean parlia- 
ment passed a law establishing a vol- 
untary national genetic databank, so any- 
one who'd lost a child could have a 
blood sample taken. We'd construct a 
pedigree, and as children came to 
light, test them against the families in 
our genetic bank and look for a match. 

With hundreds of families to test 
against every child who came forward, 
we ran into some matches by chance — 
true matches that didn't reflect biologi- 
. cal relationships. We needed a better 
test. Eventually we turned to mitochon- 
drial sequencing, which has proven a 
highly specific, invaluable tool for reunit- 
ing the grandmothers with their grand- 
children. The cases resolved genetical- 
ly are about 50. We've found another 
12 children who were kidnapped bul 
have yet to identify their families. This 
leaves 150 children yet to be found. 
Omni: Joel Cohen at Rockefeller Univer- 
sity frequently testifies in court against 
genetic fingerprinting. What do you 
think of his arguments? 
King: I just finished a stint on the Na- 
tional Academy oi Science's committee 
of DNA and forensics with another pop- 
ulation geneticist, Eric Lander. We 
tried to set down guidelines for doing 
the mathematics of DNA identification. 
What does the evidence mean statisti- 
cally? How common is this genotype? 
What is the population? Many of us 
have spent years trying to answer 
these questions, and there's no math- 
ematically rigorous way to do it, be- 
cause we don't have the entire human 
species samples. 

Still, we established a set of guide- 
lines for how to calculate the frequen- 
cy of an arbitrarily determined genotype 
in a population. Some mathematics 
types don't like our method. Eric and I 
don't like it. It's not as precise as it 
could be, but we and the panel decid- 
ed to be prudent rather than precise. 
Omni: How do you make these calcu- 
lations on genotype frequency? 
King: Suppose we test four genes. We 
determine the genotype in each four lo- 
ci on a blood sample from a victim. We 
do the same thing for the defendant; eve- 
rything matches. Each gene has two al- 
leles [alternative forms of a given 
gene]. Knowing how common each al- 
lele is at each of the four loci is critical. 
One way is to determine from which pop- 
ulation the defendant comes and 
make an estimate based on that popu- 
lation. But in America, where most of us 
are from mixed populations, knowing 
the frequency of every allele is impos- 

94 OMNI 

sible. So now we use a ceiling princi- 
ple. Before a case goes to trial, one con- 
sults a databank of populations that are 
different from each other. Since the 
four loci will have been typed in each 
isolated population, we hope to brack- 
et in a broad way the likelihood of find- 
ing each gene type. 

Suppose allele A of-gene 1 is found 
in Basques at a frequency of 1 percent, 
in Lapps at 3 percent, and in Mexicans 
of Mayan ancestry at 10 percent. We'll 
assign a frequency of 10 percent to 
this allele, regardless of the ancestry of 
future defendants. Now it doesn't mat- 
ter what population the suspect comes 
from, since no people in the world 
have higher frequencies than the ones 
we're using. We don't care if the defen- 
dant is white, black, Hispanic, Native 
American, or whatever, since the 
whole world is in the calculation. 
Omni: Your original project with breast 

4My daughter 

wants to do human-rights 

law. But 

girls her age I know in 

Argentina tell 

me they're going to become 

geneticists. So 
it all comes out in the wash.^ 

ivolved 1,579 women. What 
were you trying to determine? 
King: Whether a subset of breast can- 
cer is inherited, and if so, from what 
gene. Inherited breast cancer accounts 
for about 5 percent of the disease. It's 
transmitted by a dominant gene 
through mothers and fathers, although 
fathers are not affected. One woman 
out of 200 will get breast cancer be- 
cause she has inherited susceptibility 
to ft. It's important for these women to 
know they have an inherited genetic dis- 
ease. It's even more important to the oth- 
er 95 percent of .breast- cancer patients, 
because if we can identify the gene 
inherited in altered form and it turns out 
to be the same gene that's vulnerable 
to other cancers, then this will be criti- 
cal for diagnosis and treatment of all 
women facing breast cancer. 
Omni: How did you find this gene? 
King: It's been clear as far back as the 
Romans that some families have high 
rates of breast cancer. I decided in 
1975 when" I was learning about can- 
cer epidemiology that I'd try to identify 

genes responsible for breast cancer. 
This was dumb: no work was being 
done at the DNA level then. 

We stiil haven't identified this gene, 
but we know where it lives on chromo- 
some 17 down to a million base pairs, 
a tiny region of the human genome. 
We've identified families with inherited 
breast cancer, then identified genetic 
markers situated on all the different chro- 
mosomes and determined which mark- 
ers are inherited with breast cancer, fam- 
ily by family. It's a very systematic ap- 
proach, but when I undertook it, it was 
not systematic at all; I had to develop 
the markers as I went along. 
Omni: Was the research aided by the 
Human Genome Project? 
King: It took 15 years from the time I be- 
gan trying to identify genes responsible 
for inherited breast cancer until I knew 
the approximate locale of the gene in 
question. In 1991 , when we decided to 
isolate the genes responsible for inher- 
ited deafness, the same process took 
two months. Today, we just. have more 
tools. The next step is to clone a gene 
for Inherited breast cancer, which we're 
doing now, and use it to develop an ear- 
ly diagnostic technique. 
Omni: What is the AIDS project your're 
working on? 

King; Some people infected with AIDS 
progress rapidly to full-blown AIDS and 
die", while others progress more slowly, 
living with the disease tor years. Varia- 
tion in immune-response genes could 
make some people more resistant to the 
virus. We have identified some of 
these genes. Identifying these genes al- 
lows you to understand the interaction 
between the virus and the HLA proteins 
made by the genes. In AIDS, we look 
at how the protein folds and how the vi- 
rus attaches to it. Knowing that some 
of these attachments work better than 
others is helpful if you're trying to de- 
velop a drug that prevents attachment 
or a vaccine that protects HLA proteins 
against the virus, or an innocuous mol- 
ecule that will mimic the virus. 
Omni: Is this photograph on your desk 
of your daughter? 

King: Yes. It was taken when she 
thought she might become a ballerina. 
She was very good, but she had to de- 
cide when she was 14 whether she want- 
ed to go to school or dance, and she 
decided to go to school. She's study- 
ing to be a constitutional lawyer, not a 
scientist. She correctly perceives that 
the limitations to human rights are not 
in science but in having a constitution 
and making sure it's applied. She 
wants to do human-rights law. But girls 
her age I know In Argentina tell me 
they're going to become geneticists. It 
all comes out inthewsh.OQ 



Competition #54 explained global warming and missing socks 

By Scot Morris 

Last November, we asked 
readers lo create original 
theories in the "Silly 
Science" style of the Journal 
of Irraproducible Results. I 
promised that one grand- 
prize winner would receive 
S100, four runners-up $50 
each, and all five a one- 
year 'Omni subscription. 
Marc Abrahams, editor of 
JIR, helped to pick the best. 

Many chose to explain 
familiar everyday events. 
The most common subject 
was the sock problem. 
Thaddeus P. Rosen of Bak- 
ersfield, California, pro- 
poses that clothes dryers 
produce a tunneling effect 
that throws socks- into an 
alternate universe. Scien- 
tists, he writes, should use 
this effect to dispose of 
nuclear waste: Just put 
chunks oi it into socks and 
set the timer for 40 minutes. 

Readers attacked the big 
problems, too. They figured 
that global warming was 
caused py the increased 
adoption of daylight-savings 
time or the popularity 
of jalapefio peppers. One 
positive result of all the 
wariring, wrote Gustavo 
Wilches-Chaux of Popayan, 
Colombia, was an end 
to the Cold War. 

When a cat is dropped, it 
always lands on its feet, and 
when toast is dropped, it 
always lands with the 
buttered side facing down. 1 
propose to strap buttered 
toast to the back of a cat; 
the two will hover, spinning, 
inches above the ground. 
With a giant buttered-cat 
array, a high-speed mono- 
rail could easily link New 
York- with Chicago. — John 

96 QMN1 

Frazee, Kingston, New York 

infinite number oi rednecks. 
riding in an infinite number 
of oicx.up trucks, fire an 
infinite number of shotgun 
rounds at an infinite number 
oi h -ah way signs, they will 
eventually produce all (he 
world's great literary works 
in Braille. — John A. Banker, 
Show Low, Arizona 

Why Yawning Is Conta- 
gious: You yawn to equalize 
the pressure on your 
eardrums. This pressure 
change outside your ear- 
drums unbalances other 
people's ear pressures, 
so they must yawn to even 
it out. — Bruce- Wiegert, 
Baltimore, Maryland 

Communist China is 
technologically underdevel- 

oped because they have no 
alphabet and therefore 
cannot use acronyms to 
communicate ideas at a 
fast.e r ra te. — Nancy Payton, 
Bakerslield, California 

The earth may spin faster 
on its axis due to defor- 
estation. Just as a figure 
skater's rate of spin in- 
creases when the arms are 
brought in close to the 
body, the cutting of tall trees 
may cause our planet 
to spin dangerously fast. 
— Robert Hinckley, 
Towanda, Pennsylvania 

Birds take off at sunrise. 
On the opposite side of the 
world, they are landing 
at sunset. This causes the 
earth to spin on its axis. 
— Steve Forzula, Isle of 

Cumbrae, Scotland 

The reason hot- rod own- 
ers raise the backs of their 
cars is that it's easier to go 
faster when you're always 
going downhill. — John 
Haas, Hillside, New Jersey 

The quantity of conso- 
nants in the English 
language is constant. If 
omitted in one place, they 
turn, up in another, When a 
Bostoner "pahks" his. "can," 
the lost f's migrate south- 
west, causing a Texan to 
"warsh" his car and invest in 
"erl wells." —Randy Smith, 
Wichita Falls, Texas 

A design flaw in the 
solar-powered flashlight 
has prevented it from 
performing as well in the 
field as it did in tests during 
business hours. — Mike 
Guida, Peoria, Arizona 

TV remote controls have 
raised the public intelli- 
gence level by lowering 
exposure to commercials. 
— Edward E. Ness, Akeley, 

When subjected to 
extreme feminine heat and 
pressure, male hydrocar- 
bons will often produce 
a diamond. — R. E. Swapp, 
Fairview, Utah DO 

Got a theory of your own? 
Give a call! 1-900-407- 
4494, ext. 70102. Your 
theory will be recorded 
and may appear in an 
upcoming issue of Omni! 
The cost for the call is 
95 cents per minute. You 
must be 18 or older. 
Touch-tone phones only. 
Sponsored by 
Pure Entertainment, 
P.O.Box 166, Hollywood, 
California 90078.